Ben Lippen Stories

Staff Story: John Fernandez

Title: I.T. Coordinator

Tell us about your family. I am married to Tracy and we have two kids, Carina and Calvin. Tracy and I are high school sweethearts and grew up in Miami. We moved to Charlotte in 1996 when we got married and raised our children there. We had several big changes this past summer: our family moved from Charlotte to Columbia in July, and Tracy & I started working at Ben Lippen. While all that was going on we were also preparing both of our children to start college in the fall. Carina is attending Palm Beach Atlantic in West Palm Beach Florida and Calvin is at Southern Wesleyan University. We are thankful to be in Columbia and to be part of the Ben Lippen family who have been so gracious and welcoming to us!!

What do you like to do in your free time? I know this might sound strange but one of my favorite things to do is to find a peaceful greenway or trail and just go for a run, not so much for time or distance but really just to clear my mind. A lot of times, I find that a good run allows me to hear and speak to God more clearly. I also do enjoy a good round of golf even though I’m not very good.

What else would you like readers to know about you? I enjoy being around people and learning about how we are all different but, in a lot of ways, the same. I feel like I never meet a stranger so if you see me around say hello.

What is something most people don’t know about you? In January 2018, I ran the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World. I trained for 6 months to run 48.6 miles over 4 days through all the Disney parks. The challenge consisted of completing a 5K, 10K, half and full marathon… still one of the coolest things I’ve ever done!!

What do students get at Ben Lippen that they won’t get somewhere else? I was a “lifer” at a Christian school and my kids have always been in Christian school so I am a HUGE believer in Christian education. I have consistently found that the teachers genuinely care about the students as a whole. BLS students will find that a lot of times their teachers in school will still be their friends after they graduate. I can testify to that as two of my teachers in high school were groomsmen in my wedding.

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