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Liberty Christian School Spotlight: Caroline Dangel

Posted on Jan 26, 2016 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

Caroline Dangel

This month’s Liberty Christian School Community Spotlight features alumni Caroline Dangel.  Caroline is currently a senior at Liberty High School in Carroll County and is Carroll County Times Volleyball Player of the Year.  Here is what Caroline had to share with us.

Q. In what grades did you attend Liberty Christan School?

A. I attended LCS from kindergarten through the eighth grade.

Q. What is your favorite LCS memory?

A. My favorite LCS memory was playing backboard dodge in the Trumbos’ P.E. class.

Q. What  LCS teacher had the most influence on you and why?

A. Mr. VeStrand because he showed me what a real relationship was between a student and teacher and he showed me that getting good grades wasn’t always everything. He taught me to be creative and take risks as before I had just did everything in the most simple, expected and efficient way.

Q. What is an accomplishment that you are most proud of in your life so far?

A. Being named Carroll County Times Volleyball Player of the Year.

Q. Tell us a little more about that honor as well as about your volleyball achievements.

A. This past volleyball season, I was named Carroll County Times Player of the Year and put on Carroll County’s First Team All-County.  I have been on first team for the past two years, and have been on the first team all-conference team as well.  Being named the Player of the Year let me know that even though I am not a huge hitter who usually gets all the recognition, I am important.  My job as a setter is to help and support my teammates who are in the spotlight and now, for once, I am in the spotlight for doing my job efficiently for the past four years.  It serves as the best reward for me as I feel all my hard work has finally paid off.

Caroline Dangel playing volleyball

Q. We understand that you have been involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and Young Life.  What are your thoughts about furthering your relationship with Christ and being involved with Christian ministries while attending a public high school?

A. Year after year in public school, it has become more and more difficult to stay as connected to Christ as I once was at Liberty Christian.  I have become more involved with groups inside and outside of Liberty.  In Liberty, I am a co-leader of our school’s FCA club and am responsible for helping others grow in their faith and even bringing some people to Christ. I, personally, have seen people accept Christ following my actions and it truly is incredible.  I believe FCA serves as my own type of ministry.  In addition to helping people at Liberty grow in their faith, I focus more on my own faith at Young Life.  Young Life is a group that meets once or twice a week to gather together and praise our God.  Over 200 people are a part of our section of Young Life and it continues to grow everyday.  I hope to be able to go on more missions trips, like Costa Rica, in the coming years to be able to continue my ministry and bring others to Christ.

Q. What are your plans for college and career?

A. I plan to attend a four year college next fall, whether being able to play volleyball there or not.  I am currently still in the recruiting process and trusting God’s plan for me wherever it may take me.  I plan to go into college undecided as I haven’t quite found my passion.

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Liberty Christian School Spotlight: Belinda Ropp

Posted on Dec 22, 2015 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

Belinda Ropp

This month’s Liberty Christian School Community Spotlight features 3rd grade teacher and self-professed “accidental farm girl” Belinda Ropp.  Here is what she had to share with us:

Q. How long have you been a teacher at LCS?

A. I have been a teacher at Liberty Christian School for eight years.  All eight years of my service at Liberty Christian School have been spent teaching 3rd grade.

Q. Where did you attend college?

A. I attended college at Messiah College and earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a Concentration in Special Education.  I am currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration at the University of Scranton.

Q. What do you love about Liberty Christian School?

A. One of the greatest qualities that a school can possess is a strong community atmosphere.  At Liberty Christian School, there is a strong “family” community atmosphere that exists between faculty, parents, students, and alumni.  This sense of family is what I love the most about Liberty Christian School because it allows all members of the community to feel valued, respected, and supported as soon as they enter through the doors. More importantly, this strong family community allows for students to flourish spiritually and academically.

Belinda Ropp with 3rd grade class

Q. How do you inspire your students to love learning?

A. As a 3rd grade teacher, I try to inspire my students to love learning by engaging each individual during the learning process in the classroom and by making learning fun.  This means getting to know each student personally (likes/dislikes, strengths/weaknesses, and preferred learning styles).  Throughout the course of the year, I get to know my 3rd grade students by interacting with each student one-on-one and by having them complete different types of inventories.  The inventories allow me to gain information on each student and help me to formulate different types of activities to include in lessons that will captivate each student as a learner.

Q. What are some of your interests and hobbies?

A. In the little spare time that I have, I enjoy being outdoors because this is where I feel God’s presence most strongly.  I am known as the “pioneer woman” of my family because I preserve the harvest that comes from my garden by canning and hunt wild game for processing.  When the weather does not allow for me to be outside, I enjoy baking and reading a good book with a cup of coffee.

Q. You are tied into the farming community in western Maryland. Tell us about your “other life”.

A. My “other life” involves my secret passion for the farming industry.  I am not your “ordinary farm girl,” instead I consider myself “an accidental farm girl,” having never been raised on a farm.  Living in Frederick County, surrounded by farmland, I enjoy spending my weekends and summer vacation working at a local family farm.  My duties on the farm range from animal care to running equipment in the field.

Belinda Ropp Farming

Q. You have a long commute to and from LCS.  What motivates you to teach at a school that is a long distance from your home?

A. My commute to Liberty Christian School is at least an hour, depending on traffic.  The strong sense of “family” community that is present at Liberty Christian school is what motivates me to make the drive each day.  Liberty Christian School is truly a unique school that can not be found just anywhere.

Q. What do you want your students to gain from having known you?

A. No matter one's path in life, we all leave behind a legacy.  I believe that it is important to know the legacy you intend to leave behind, so that you can live out your legacy daily.  By living out your legacy daily, others have the opportunity to reap from having known you.  My desire is that all of my students (current/previous) would gain a piece of my legacy.  

Here is a small piece of the legacy I wish to leave behind to all of my students:

  1. Recognize the needs of those around you and respond with compassion.
  2. Have a spirit of thanksgiving no matter the current circumstances in your life.
  3. Use your God given talents/gifts to bring Him honor and glory.

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Liberty Christian School Community Spotlight: Matthew Bird

Posted on Nov 24, 2015 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

Matthew Bird

This month’s Liberty Christian School Community Spotlight features Matthew Bird, LCS alum, accomplished artist and father of current K4 student Audrey Bird.  Here is what he had to share with us:

Why did you choose LCS for your child?

A lot of reasons. We are Christians and think God should be the in the center of education. We are also members of Liberty Church and feel the school is a wonderful ministry we want to support.

What would you tell another parent to encourage them to consider enrolling their child at LCS?

When your children are young you don’t really know what paths lay ahead, or what their professional interests will be. But we do know that a solid foundation is always the best to build on. I had a great foundation from LCS not just academically, but spiritually, which allowed me to thrive safely in a secular world.

Young Matthew Bird

What have been your education and/or work experiences since you graduated from Liberty Christian School?

After attending LCS from kindergarten through the fifth grade, I went to public school to take advantage of their arts program, then I got a scholarship to Pratt Institute of Art. I graduated with honors and a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

How long have you been painting?

As long as I can remember.

What types of mediums do you use?

I’ve dabbled in just about everything at some point, but now I’m strictly a watercolor painter

What inspires/influences your painting?

I’ve done a lot of different things, but what I enjoy most is painting people. It’s the hardest thing to capture correctly, and I like a challenge. But I think the real reason is because we are made in God’s image and I can’t think of a finer subject. There’s beauty in all people because we all reflect Him.

What advice do you have for children that like to paint and draw?

Don’t give up when you get frustrated. I remember drawing Superman when I was little and getting very frustrated. I grabbed the wrong color and messed up his leg. That’s the earliest memory I have of my Mom encouraging me to keep going and make something from the mistake — “it could be a knife in Superman’s boot.” Of course patently absurd, Superman doesn’t need a knife, but the lesson stuck with me.

Matthew Bird Artwork

What is an accomplishment that you are most proud of in your life so far?

I’m humbled that God called me into his family, and proud of the family He’s given me. After that, I would say that it’s been a real blessing to receive recognition from the art community on the national and international level. This year I’ve had paintings shown across the U.S., Italy, Greece, and China. Being an artist is really difficult and it took a long time to feel like it was “paying off.”

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Liberty Christian School Community Spotlight: Emily Martin

Posted on Oct 27, 2015 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

Emily Martin Graduation Photo

This month’s Liberty Christian School Community Spotlight features former LCS student and new Second Grade Instructional Aide Emily Martin.  Miss Martin actually began working at Liberty Christian School this past summer as a staff member for Camp Liberty.  In addition to her Lower School responsibilities, Miss Martin also teaches a section of Middle School math.  Here is what she had to share with us:Q. What do you love about LCS?

A. I love the family atmosphere. Everyone is so closely knit that you can rely on anyone if you need to. I also love that we can freely talk about God and pray whenever we want to with our students.

Q. In what grades did you attend LCS?

A. I attended LCS in kindergarten through 8th grade. It is interesting working with some of my old teachers. Calling them by their first names is a strange and wonderful experience.

Q. What LCS teacher had the most influence on you and why?

A. Mr. Booker had the most influence on me because he is one of the teachers that made me decide to become a teacher myself.  His love of mathematics rubbed off on me and I have since become a math teacher myself. 

Emily Martin Yearbook Photo

Q. What have been your education and/or work experiences since you graduated from LCS?

A. I went to Chapelgate Christian Academy where I continued my volleyball career. Then, I moved on to Towson University where I majored in Elementary Education and minored in Mathematics. While there I was able to intern in public schools throughout Baltimore County. Upon graduation in the spring of 2015, I began working at Camp Liberty for the summer, which led to my job now at LCS.

Q. Tell us a little about your experience this summer with Camp Liberty.

A. It was a whirlwind coming in on a Thursday and having camp start the following Monday. God was with all of the staff through that time and we were able to be successful. Having never worked at a summer camp, it was a new experience for me. In school you are provided with a curriculum, but at camp you had a theme for the week and you ran with it. One aspect I did not know would be such a large part was mentoring the middle school counselors. You suddenly expect so much of them and you forget that they are still children themselves. I believe it turned out to be a great learning experience for them about servitude and humbling yourself for the benefit of others. It was exhausting, but there are so many memories from it that I will carry with me. Perhaps the greatest moment for me was when it suddenly dawned on me that these children have been put in my care for the entire day. Their parents have entrusted me to care for their most precious possession. It was then that I felt the honor of being held responsible for those children and how important my job was. I felt blessed that God had placed me there and felt confident that I had chosen the right profession.

Q. Why do you like teaching at LCS?

A. I love that the relationship between parents and teachers is so close. We are a team helping each child succeed. The small class sizes are great because we have the ability to build stronger relationships with our students and give them the individualized attention they need from their teachers. Since I am an alumnus of LCS, I knew that it was a great community to be a part of. My experience with the staff during Camp Liberty further solidified my positive feelings about the school. I love working with these people and these families. 

Q. What are your favorite moments with a student?

A. My favorite moment with students is that “light bulb” moment. When you see their eyes light up because the information clicked and they understood a difficult concept. That makes every struggle as a teacher worthwhile The payout is that look and demonstration of pure understanding and mastery of content. 

Q. What is an accomplishment that you are most proud of in your life so far?

A. I am most proud of the fact that I trusted God upon graduating from college. I have always been one to worry, which God tells us not to do but I often cannot help myself. I trusted him to bring me a job upon graduation and he placed me in Camp Liberty when I was dropping my brother off for camp counselor training. He kept me busy all summer so I would not worry about a job in the fall. Then, he provided me with a job at Liberty Christian School, a Christian school which had been my preferred choice to public school. He had plans for me and I am so thankful that I followed His guidance. I am a much happier person for it.

Emily Martin Teaching Math

Q. How is the start of the school year going?

A. It has been interesting start. I have found a whole new appreciation for the specials teachers that teach all grade levels. It is challenging bouncing from one age group to the next. I bounce from second, to seventh, to fifth, then back to second. I love seeing the similarities and the differences between the age groups. I am surprised by just how similar the groups are.

On a different note, I have enjoyed seeing the students from Camp Liberty in the halls. I have especially enjoyed seeing one particular young man that is in the K4 class. Over the summer, he and I formed a close bond that is still strong today. Whenever I see him in the halls, he gives me a hug. Whatever stresses or frustrations I had from the day instantly melt away and I am thankful God allowed this boy to be a part of my life.

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