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Board announces new superintendent

A superintendent is expected to oversee student and parent communication, monitor financial expenditures, supervise staff recruitment and develop faculty policies. It is assumed the campus head dictates orders from her desk; this leader operates within a hub of activity.

While Debbie Siebert remains a staunch professional who orchestrates and expedites her campus vision, her emphasis on ministry and service often finds her involved in the smallest of tasks.

“I am thrilled to become superintendent,” Siebert said. “I believe I’ve been called to do this. When I look back on my life, every step has been woven into the fabric of this position.”

Many may remember Siebert as a former fifth grade teacher; however, she has advanced through the administrative ranks since 1997. Experience as the founder and director of The Learning Resource Center (LRC) and Director of Curriculum and Instruction has strengthened her qualifications for superintendent.

The Executive Board named Siebert the new superintendent, April 18. They agreed Siebert meets professional requirements and her character will enrich the position.

“My wife (Maria) and I have been FC parents for over 20 years including serving on both the School and Foundation Boards,” Don Brouwer said. “We knew Debbie Siebert was uniquely gifted and saw her create an amazing experience for each of our three children (Leah, ’03, Matt, ’06, and Taylor, ’09) in her fifth grade class. Then as she transitioned to the LRC, she again set a new standard of education.”

After witnessing Siebert’s impact on the LRC, Don and Maria hoped she would continue to significantly advance her leadership role in the life of the school.

“The entire administrative team prayed as we grew towards the logical transition (to superintendent),” Brouwer said. “We give thanks for those who built the school’s foundation and who have prepared the next generation of leaders. This campus is ready to accelerate, rather than pause, search and adjust. ”

Siebert has earned numerous credentials and graduated with distinction with an M.A. in Education from California State University, Fresno, and has over 25 years of experience in both business and ministry, including a background in teaching for 19 years.

“I am a life-long learner,” Siebert said. “Being a student helps me keep perspective. Besides, I just enjoy learning new things.”

Various campus jobs build Siebert’s foundation

This campus first attracted Siebert as a parent for her sons Jason, ’94 alumnus, former Feather editor, and Joshua, ’96, two-time Destination Imagination champion.

“My husband (Steve) and I sacrificed greatly to send our children here,” Siebert said. “We wanted to have a place our children would receive an education that coincides with our beliefs. We needed support in nurturing them from a Christian worldview.”

After helping as a volunteer librarian and teacher’s aide, her first paid position came as a fifth grade teacher in 1988. Although Siebert misses teaching, she felt a calling to create the Learning Resource Center (LRC) in 1997.

“I was forced to overcome a difficult obstacle at a young age,” Siebert said. “I had a reading disability. I was often behind the entire class on assignments, but was self-motivated to prove I was capable. As a classroom teacher I was frustrated by my inability to successfully meet the needs of my struggling students and because of my own journey could identify with these kids. It’s hard to be the one everyone makes fun of.”

Even though many of Siebert’s responsibilities are handled within her office, she believes the position of superintendent requires a servant’s attitude. Not only did she help construct the LRC, she recently painted the new bathrooms of the Northeast campus.

“She (Siebert) is one of my favorite teachers,” Stephen Willems, ’08, said. “She works hard, genuinely cares about her students and took time to help out individuals. Also, she wasn’t afraid to joke around. She is diligent and I think will make a good superintendent. She will get the job done, the way it needs to be done.”

In addition to campus duties, Siebert dedicates time to ministries and teaches life skills to homeless women. She also supports her husband’s ministry of training men in halfway houses in an effort to provide them with job skills.

“Over the past several years I formed relationships with homeless girls,” Siebert said. “One is now employed and the other is going to college and has a part-time job. We also work with members of the halfway house who are trying to reclaim their lives; we provide them with positions at our business (D & S Manufacturing) to acquire job skills in a controlled environment.”

Siebert believes in ministry and investing her life in someone else’s.

K-12 undergoes future vision

While implementing a more effective academic assessment program, adding a strength and conditioning course and enhancing the arts facility over the next year, Siebert continues to focus on this year’s theme, T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More).

Siebert hosted a presentation, April 29 (open to students and parents), in order to share the administration’s vision for the next decade, reveal future plans for K-12 and introduce the leadership team. She said each improvement is meant to strengthen each of the four schools within FCS: academics, arts, athletics and faith.

“We have a unified vision,” Siebert said. “We believe we can build upon the firm foundation established by the previous administration and take the school into the next decade. Every member in the body is important, each is valuable. We reach our maximum potential when every person knows the part they play and fulfills their role ‘heartily as unto the Lord’.”

Siebert plans on implementing a new focus on service that better fulfills the school’s mission. In addition, there are numerous outreach programs undergoing development, including the Alumni Association.

“I feel like I?m living in the blessing,” Siebert said. “We are so excited; God is sending confirmation after confirmation in big and small ways. The air is filled with electricity.”

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