First person: Combining school and faith

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Linda D’Amour spent 10 years as a banker before deciding to become a teacher. She started as the principal of the Clovis Christian elementary school in August.

CNJ staff

Linda D’Amour recently moved from public school to parochial, taking the job as principal of Clovis Christian Elementary school in August.

Differences: In public school, we do everything we can to promote good character and we use the character traits…the difference in a Christian school is that we tie it to a Christian Biblical World View based on the Bible. If a child gets in trouble, we tie it back to what does God want from you? What does God expect you to do? It makes a huge difference because now you’re not trying to please man, you’re trying to please God.

Zip zip: I broke both my legs. I found out I have early age osteoporosis. This is an ongoing thing in my life for the last 9 years. I broke one leg and tripped over the cast and broke the other leg. One of my breaks was non-weight bearing so I started using a scooter. This helps me zip around the building really fast. When something like that happens to you, it makes you question a lot of things that are happening to you. Through this, I became a huge health nut. I found through many, many tests that I had a very low vitamin D level. So I beef up on vitamin D, work out three times a week with a personal trainer and do everything humanly possible to be healthy and strong and well.

Contact: I loved being a teacher because I love the one-on-one contact you have and having the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. It was always odd that I was actually with a child more waking hours in a day than their parents would be. That’s an incredible responsibility to educators so I love that. So as a principal I don’t always get that so I spend as much time as I can with the kids

Making the move: Moving to the Christian school has given me an opportunity to live my faith. Even as a public school educator, there are many wonderful Christians in public school, it doesn’t matter the title over the door. As fellow Christians, we would meet together and pray together before school. The difference between a public school educator though and a Christian educator is that now when we’re teaching curriculum, everything is tied back to God’s plan for our lives and I believe totally that there is a purpose for each one of us. Every single one of us is valuable and God has made no accidents in creating each person. You look at their little faces and you just want to do whatever you can to equip them to do whatever God has called them to do in their lives.

— Compiled by CNJ staff writer Liliana Castillo