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Mathematical expertise born, not made

A gaping hole appeared in the campus faculty numbers at the end of the ’03-’04 school year when four teachers departed. Seven new faculty members have taken their place, including Michael Fenton, the new Algebra II and junior high math teacher.

“I was a bit nervous on my first day,” Fenton said. “But once I saw how things worked around here, I got more and more comfortable.”

Despite being late for the first Tuesday teacher’s meeting and not being familiar with the campus chapel schedule, Fenton’s first weeks have been positive.

“So far the year has had its ups and downs, but overall the huge support from the faculty has really been encouraging,” Fenton said. “No one told me about the teacher’s meetings on Tuesdays. When I came in early to prepare for the day’s lessons, Yoko Kilbourne [campus secretary] came in and told me that I was missing the meeting.”

Campus staff this year also features the new faces of Tracy Jones, Christina Lumeya, Aaron Bryan, Mick Fuller, David Akina and Katie Mendenhal.

“He [Fenton] is going to be a gem,” Principal Gary Schultz said. “I can just tell. Good teachers are born, not made.”

Fenton achieved a B.S. in Math from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and received his teaching credential from Fresno Pacific University.

While some teachers, such as Jones (a former substitute) and Akina (a tutor), have had previous experience on campus, most new teachers experienced their first day of high school alongside the freshmen on Aug. 18.

“It’s nice for me to know I’m not the only new teacher here,” Fenton said. “I like that there are others having their first time too.”

Fenton heard of an opening for a math position on campus from one of his professors.

“One of my instructors told me about it, and I decided to give it a shot,” Fenton said. “I came in and had lunch with Mr. Schultz and met with some other faculty and decided this was a great opportunity for me.”

After meeting a handful of campus staff, Fenton was impressed by their friendships and camaraderie.

“Every single staff member I met was awesome,” Fenton said. “Their vision and their passion for the kids really impressed me.”

In response to Fenton’s comment, Principal Schultz summarized campus relationships in one word.

“There is one word to describe our school attitude: ?family’,” Principal Schultz said. “Fresno Christian is not just a school; we’re a family.”

For more information on classes and new teachers, students and parents can contact the high school office at 299-1695, ext. 5.

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