I recently read a blog by a friend of mine, Dr. Barrett Mosbacher, who is the head of a large Christian school in Alabama. The blog was about the importance of exemplary academics in Christian schools, but it included a striking statement about the relationship between academic success and the other educational pieces we uniquely offer in a Christian School. He said this: “Character must come before competency.”

As I thought about that particular statement in light of what we do at FCS, I had to affirm its validity. Another author whose thoughts I value highly, Dr. James K. A. Smith, has this to say on that subject:“I will propose that the primary goal of Christian education is the formation of a peculiar people: a people who desire the kingdom of God and thus undertake their vocations as an expression of that desire” (Desiring the Kingdom, 2009).

In this issue of Engage Magazine, you will see stories about Fredericksburg Christian School students who have made academic achievements at the highest levels. You will also see stories about students who have accomplished much in service to others, clearly lining up with Christ’s model of servant leadership. Both are critical elements of how we define success at FCS.

Some would say we are naïve to believe that we can accomplish our goal of producing students with a high-level of academic performance and demonstrate the character necessary for effective leadership. I, along with the rest of the dedicated staff at FCS, take great umbrage with that sentiment.

So while we celebrate the fact that an FCS student is a National Merit Scholar Semifinalist, we rejoice even more that he is a fine young man who puts Christ and others first in his life.

Yes, we are thrilled that an FCS alum is near the top of his class at West Point, but we are even more gratified that he is a humble, Godly leader.

Though a particular FCS graduate is currently a leading cancer researcher at Virginia Tech, she is also one of the finest, most Christ-centered young women you will ever meet.

Three of these young people have received an excellent academic education at FCS, yet, their character exceeds their competency.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Engage, and I hope you get a sense that God is at work in amazing ways in both the minds and hearts of these young people.

Rick Yost, Superintendent

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