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Toronto principal chosen for esteemed fellowship

Written on May 16th, 2013

William Groot’s recent selection to an esteemed fellowship affirms he is currently in a role God desires for him, he says – as principal of Toronto District Christian High School (TDCH).

As someone who loves teaching, Groot had no intention of ever becoming principal. But after former administrator Ren Siebenga retired it was agreed Groot, vice-principal at the time, would step in as an interim while the school community sought a replacement.

Invited to also apply for the permanent principal position, Groot agreed to do so and was offered the job last year.

Sensing the offer was a way of God directing his life journey, Groot accepted the role in faith.

This recent fellowship honour further underscores for him he is in the right role, he adds.

Groot has been selected by the Van Lunen Center for Executive Management in Christian Schools at Calvin College for a 2013-2014 fellowship.

The list includes educators from 22 schools across the United States and Canada.

The fellows program is designed for school heads to help them deepen their leadership capacity while also creating deep relationships with peers and leadership in Christian education across North America.

Groot sees this opportunity as a gift — a chance to connect with people in the same field but with a diverse mix of experiences and perspectives.

It is also a significant opportunity given how the Christian education community in general is wrestling – perhaps more than ever before — with both sharing its story and developing what it has to offer, all the while“allowing the Lord to work through us in that,”Groot says.

The fellows program is funded almost entirely by the Van Lunen Center. It begins with five residential days in July 2013, continues again in January 2014 for five days, and ends with three days in July 2014. Between sessions, fellows will be assisted with a school project via phone, online or in person.

Groot’s project includes TDCH’s current rethink of its future plans as it celebrate 50 years as a school community and looks to year 51 and beyond. He is also bringing his interest in developing an administrative team to the program.

The Van Lunen Center was established at Calvin in January 2007 and now operates with a $2.5-million endowment gift to the college from the Richard D. Van Lunen Foundation, and additional funding from foundations and individual donors.