This past July, 24 of the finest young educators from the US and Canada came together for CSI’s weeklong Educators Leadership Development Institute (ELDI), our annual professional development opportunity tailored to school leaders who are preparing to step into administrative roles at their schools. ELDI was held at the Cedar Springs Retreat Center in Sumas, Washington, where our educators wrestled with difficult topics together through the day, basked in the gorgeous surroundings, spent time in prayer groups, and developed relationships with other administrators that will last a lifetime.
ELDI was facilitated by Ed Noot, Executive Director (ED) of the Society of Christian Schools in British Colombia (SCSBC), Gayle Monsma, ED of the Prairie Center for Christian Education (PCCE), Ray Hendricks, ED for the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS), Dr. John Walcott, Professor at Calvin College, and Joel Westa, President/CEO of CSI. A few of the topics covered included:
- Examining the roles and tasks that a Christian school administrator performs
- Become aware of the high calling of Christian school leadership
- Considering the biblical model for, and expanding their vision of schools as communities of mind and heart
- Wrestling with the challenge of creating community with as-is staff, students and parents.
- Sharing ideas for being intentional about creating schools as communities
Thanks to our generous donors, the majority of ELDI’s cost was covered for the educators, a tremendous benefit provided by CSI for our member schools. This event is also one of the best examples of our partnership with Christian Schools Canada, which brings the leadership of our Canadian regions to facilitate and lead during ELDI.
ELDI finished its 18th year of existence this year, culminating with a rigorous day in life simulation, placing our ELDI participants in a series of wide-ranging and sometimes intense role-playing simulations, with guest administrators and the facilitators playing the role of irate parents, disgruntled staff, board members, and others to test the educators on what they’d learned the preceding week. One of the highlights of the week was the trip to Mount Baker, where the facilitators and educators basked in God’s creation, climbed peaks, and enjoyed the chance to stretch their legs for an afternoon.
“ELDI has been the best Pro-D I’ve ever had,” said a participant from Richmond Christian School in Richmond, British Columbia. “The content was very relevant and was delivered with passion, wisdom, and joy. The community shared by the cohort was life-giving.”
“My experience at ELDI has surpassed my expectations in every way. The leaders were highly capable and experienced, which I expected, but also cared so deeply for each and every one,” remarked a participant from King’s Christian Collegiate in Oakville, Ontario. “The desire for us to realize our potential was paramount. The information and knowledge imparted was helpful, which I expected, but also was extremely practical and rich with God’s truths.”
Since its launch, 70% of ELDI graduates are now in administrative positions.
If you are interested in ELDI or are an administrator who has their eye on rising administrators, ELDI is planning on holding two cohorts in the summer of 2019. Details will be forthcoming on our website.