I’m really thrilled to be a part of this season of ministry at Ben Lippen School. My hope is that we can continue to grow while remaining firmly rooted in our 80-year legacy of Christ-centered education. Someone once described Ben Lippen to me using a Venn diagram: the overlapping circles were ministry, business, and education. He said, “Ben Lippen is a ministry whose business is education.” That really resonated with me. I get most excited about the ministry component of what we do. It’s our distinguishing characteristic and must be woven into everything we do, while not forgetting to excel in the other areas that need our attention.
The recent growth we have seen is a huge blessing as it enables us to provide Christ-centered education to even more families in the Columbia area (and world-wide via The Crest Online). These new opportunities can also bring new challenges in the form of growing pains. We also need more facilities to accommodate our growth. The northeast campus is a huge blessing in that regard, but we need to continue to think strategically about how to add facilities that can accommodate classrooms, fine arts, athletics and student activities.
Lastly, the bigger we get, the more effort it takes to ensure that the culture of our school stays in alignment with our mission. I’m encouraged with the emphasis placed on this by our board and Tony’s leadership team. God really has faithfully provided us with wise men and women to lead and guide our school in this season of growth.
As a school, we continue to face challenges navigating Covid’s impact on our school day and extra-curricular activities. Administrators and faculty have done an incredible job with this and the Board recognizes that it has been taxing and difficult. While we have seen an increase in our day student enrollment recently, Covid has had a negative impact on our international student program. Our hope is that we can prayerfully take steps to help that program rebound and become all it can be.