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Senior Lifer – Dylan Tozlian


The term ‘Lifer’ affectionately represents those students who have completed all 13 years of education at Fresno Christian Schools. This year’s graduating class will honor 11 students who all began their journey in 2010 as a kindergartener. Learn more about each ‘Lifer’ in this Feather series as we talk to the student and their parents. 

Dylan Tozlian:

What are some of the biggest changes you have seen at FCS since you’ve been here?

The biggest change I’ve seen is probably the faculty, almost none of my elementary teachers still teach here, the campus I went to from kindergarten to second grade doesn’t even exist anymore. It’s weird having so many of your teachers not teach at school anymore.

What teacher/s have made an impact on you?

My kindergarten teacher Mrs.[Amy] Witters had a big impact on me. My second grade teacher Mrs.[Martha] Lange also had a big impact on me. In high school the teacher that had the biggest impact on me is definitely Mrs.[Susan] Ainley. 

Which grades have been most memorable and why?

Kindergarten was memorable because I was in a class of around six people. Eighth grade and this year have probably been the most memorable because it was the last year of middle school and this is my last year of high school. 

How would you describe the tools that FCS has given you to head into your next chapter?

School has equipped me with the knowledge of how to navigate adult life and how to succeed in the world.

A note of gratitude.

I want to thank my parents for the massive investment into my future, and for always supporting me during my education.

The average investment made by most parents who made the commitment to send their child to FCS for over 13 years is more than $104,000. What was the foundation behind this choice? We ask the parents of each ‘Lifer’ to tell us more about their journey and sacrifice for their child’s private education.

Mom of Dylan:

Reasons for your investment into FCS for 13 years?

Tradition, hope for a life full of Jesus, and a healthy dose of fear of my kids being swallowed up by an unkind world. 

There were many times – many years – where I wondered if I was doing the right thing for each of my boys. I didn’t want to keep my kids there out of fear, but each year during re-enrollment, God gifted me with peace AND financial aid. (And maybe peace through financial aid.) 

One year in particular, even with tuition, assistance was a real uncertainty. I rolled up a tuition/fees price sheet and placed it in a glass vase. Dylan (only Dylan, not his brothers) would put dollars in the jar, willing to sacrifice his small amount of money in faith that he could continue at the school he loved. That’s why I continue(d) to invest. 

What connections did you have to FCS before enrolling?

My brother, Matthew Henderson, ’89, was in the first full graduating class and was what might be considered the very first lifer. The school opened the year he started first grade, and as other students came and went, he was there the whole time. I followed five years later, but family circumstances required that one of us attend the neighborhood public school, so after I completed fourth grade, off I went. 

My mom, “Grandma Sylvia,” has been volunteering at the school – typically related to library services – since my oldest son, Brennen, ’21, started kindergarten. She has a tremendous sense of gratitude for the stability FCS provided my brother during an extremely difficult time. I love that my sons are part of the same legacy.

What are you most grateful for about your child’s education?

Annual character trait awards, traditions carried on by teachers over the years, gold angels with Martha Lange, Columbia horse shoes, “lifer” acknowledgement, and small class sizes have been what I am grateful for about Dylan’s education.  

Favorite memory of your student’s 13 years at FC?

On the fourth grade field trip to Columbia Historic State Park, the charter bus broke down on the way, leaving us all stranded at a park on the way into the Sonora area. Thankfully we had packed lunches because we were there for a couple hours waiting on another bus.

The delay cut into the planned activities of the field trip, but we rushed through seeing the jail, the bank and ice cream shop after some panning for gold really quick. Dylan and I discovered a bottled cream soda that we hadn’t known about before. We still smile whenever we come across Boylan brand cream soda.

Dylan is planning to attend Clovis Community College for computer science.

More senior lifer series coming soon.

To read the most recent senior lifer article, visit Senior Lifer – Summer Foshee.

To read more from The Feather, visit Mental Toughness in Athletes or Alumni Spotlight: Ellie Koleen.

Dylan Tozlian’s recap at Fresno Christian:

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    Silva EmerianMar 21, 2023 at 2:59 pm

    Yeahhhhh Dylan!