Tag Archives: job

The New Head of School

“Have I told you I love my job?”

The question brought a smile to my face, but I tried to keep it hidden.  Stephen used to ask me this question constantly when we were living in Ecuador and working at the Alliance Academy.  We had been living in Lake Jackson for over a month before I heard this familiar phrase being directed at my person.  I was actually starting to get a little concerned.  Was Stephen finding the job more difficult than he expected?  Was it not everything he wanted it to be?

But, no, here was that question again, and now I know that Stephen is enjoying his new job at Brazosport Christian School (BCS).  We arrived in Lake Jackson on July 8th and Stephen began working on July 12. Classes began on August 17 and things have been busy ever since.  Stephen is working on promoting the school in anyway he can.  At its highest enrollment, the school had over 300 students.  Now, BCS has approximatel 190 students total.

Recently, he had the opportunity to attend a dyslexia conference.  He was interested in attending because of his own issues with dyslexia and also to help students who might have this problem at BCS. He has also become involved with the Chamber of Commerce in Lake Jackson and joined a pastor’s prayer group.  He keeps a busy schedule throughout the week.  He tries to get to work before 7am so that he can get some work done before students arrive to start classes at 8am.  Most of the time, he is able to come home for lunch to see Cristina and the kids, and then returns to work until 4pm before coming back home.

In spite of the financial difficulties we continue to face because of moving and relocation expenses, Stephen feels that he is in the place where God wants him to be.  He has said that this is giving him great experience in running a school. He knows this is where God wants us to be and we’ll stay here until he wants us to go somewhere else.

Stephen takes in the view with Grace from the top of the playground.

 

Advertisements

Stephen’s Current Job Opportunities

The year began slowly as Stephen found himself back at the beginning of the process of looking for a new job.  He began to send out more applications to more schools both in and out of the United States.  He looked at the job conference taking place in Chicago in February for a while.  After much prayer and asking different people for advise, he decided the expense of the trip wasn’t worth the risk of not coming back home with a sure job offer.

So, we continued to wait.  As the weeks of February passed by, he received both positive and negative feedback from different schools.  He was interviewed over the phone and Internet for several schools.  A school in Lake Jackson, Texas, called Brazosport Christian School (BCS) was the first to ask for an on-site visit from Stephen and agreed to pay for his travel expenses and hotel stay.  Soon, they had scheduled him to leave Quito on Wednesday, February 23 and return to Quito the evening of Saturday, February 26.

Bangkok, Thailand

In the midst of talking to this school in Texas, another school in Bangkok, Thailand called International Community School (ICS), had also started interviewing Stephen.  Just a few days before Stephen was planning to leave on his trip to Texas, they also asked for him to take a flight over 12 time zones to come and visit them. 

With Cristina’s due date approaching, he asked for the trip to be booked soon after he returned from Texas.  Just this morning, he has been given a tentative itinerary which would have him leaving Quito only 24 hours after returning on February 26.  His flight will leave soon after midnight on Monday, February 28.  He will arrive in Thailand on Tuesday night and spend all of Wednesday and Thursday there before flying out early Friday morning to arrive in Quito late on March 4.

Fortunately for him, we have a two day holiday on Monday and Tuesday for Ecuador’s “Carnival” vacation.  So, he will hopefully be able to recover from his jet lag soon after returning to Ecuador.

Besides these two schools, there is a school in Peach Tree, Georgia, which has told Stephen he is among their top eight candidates for the administrative position they have there. There is also another international school in Casablanca, Morocco (northern Africa) and in Tegucigalpa, Honduras that have been interviewing Stephen, but have not requested an on-site visit yet. 

However, since Cristina has requested that Stephen not travel anywhere in her last four weeks of pregnancy, these two trips are the last he will make until our third little bundle of joy arrives on the scene.

If you would like to call Stephen and encourage him in the next few days while he is Texas, he is using the following cell phone number: 352-215-4524.

A Voyage without Immediate Results

Stephen helps decorate our family Christmas tree on the weekend before his trip to the U.S.

Two days after Thanksgiving break, Stephen was taking an international trip to the U.S. He had two major destinations.  First, he was traveling to Naples, Florida, where he was being considered as a possible candidate for high school administrator at a church-based school there.  He was to spend two days there and then he would drive up to Atlanta, Georgia, to attend a job recruitment conference hosted by the AASSA international association of schools located in central and South America.  Basically, several schools from countries in central and South America, would be sending representatives to this fair to recruit people for different administrative positions at their schools. 

Stephen had already connected with several of the schools through the recruitment website, and was highly confident that he would receive several job offers while attending the conference.  However, the fair did not turn out quite as he had hoped.  Although he was able to make some valuable connections with other administrators there, he was not officially offered a job position by any of them.  There are still a few schools who are still “considering” Stephen among their top candidates.  But Stephen is learning that even if one is considered “second” among the candidates, it makes no difference if the person considered “first” accepts the job.

Such was the case with the Christian school in Naples.  Stephen was told that he was a definite “second” choice, but they were waiting to hear back from their number one choice.  Two weeks later, they received their confirmation from that candidate and told Stephen that the position had been filled. 

So, here we are, once again, wondering where God will send us next year.  The only thing we know for sure is that we will be leaving the Alliance Academy International.  Stephen’s replacement has already been chosen and announced to the current faculty and staff.  There is no turning back.

Our biggest challenge right now is finding positions that will offer Stephen enough of a salary that we can pay off our loans and mortgage, and so that Cristina does not have to work for at least a couple years while their children are under school age. 

One school in Honduras was at the point of offering a position to Stephen, but he found out that we would need to rely on donations and financial support gifts.  Raising support has been increasingly difficult in this past year as many of our friends and supporters struggle to meet their own financial burdens.

There is another recruitment fair in Chicago, Illinois during the second week of February.  Stephen is still considering whether he should attend, because we really don’t have the funds to send him on another week long trip to the U.S.  However, he may have to attend if nothing opens up between now and then.

Stephen’s Job Hunt

Stephen made his decision official with the director of the Alliance Academy International a few weeks ago and let him know that he is actively looking for a new school administrative job position for next school year.  Our school made the announcement within the school to find out if anyone is interested in trying to apply for his job and then will open the job to others who might be interested. 

In the meantime, Stephen has been traveling a bit of a roller coaster and he signs up for different hiring associations for Christian schools in the United States and international schools around the world.  There have been a few schools that have responded with interest. 

One international school in La Paz, Bolivia, went as far as to say that he was one of the semi-finalists for their hiring process.  They told him that if he made it to the next “round” they would invite him to come visit them at the end of September.  This brought us to a place of waiting for several weeks in which Stephen tried not to make any extra plans for the final week of September as he might be traveling.  Finally, on the last day of September, he got a response saying that he had not made the final cut and two other candidates were being asked to visit the school. 

So, now, Stephen moves on to other job perspectives.  He recently signed up for a special hiring conference that will take place in Atlanta, Georgia during the first week of December. This association helps to supply new teachers for international schools specifically in South America.  During that time, he also plans to visit a Christian school in Naples, Florida that has also expressed an interest in hiring him.

He has also looked at some other schools internationally that might work for us.  A school in Seoul, South Korea contacted Stephen to see if he was interested in applying for a position as high school principal there.  Stephen also saw an opening for a school in China and applied for that job as well. 

Please keep us in prayer during this process as we try to figure out where God is trying to take us next.  Wherever we go, we want to continue to serve him in all that we do.  Ideally, Stephen would like to have a job offer settled by the end of the year.

Meier Prayer Requests for September

Meier Family (August 2010)

As we begin the new 2010-2011 school year, please keep us in prayer for the following needs:

1) Financial – We had a tough summer this year.  Our renter moved out of the townhouse we own in West Virginia at the end of June, just as we were needing the extra money for our summer trip to the U.S.  Fortunately, we only went one month without renters.  Our new West Virginia real estate agency found renters to move into the home on the first of August.  However, we are still recovering from the deficit created for the month of July. 

2) Future prospects – Stephen and I are looking at making this our final year ministering at the Alliance Academy International of Quito, Ecuador.  We are looking at other international schools where we can continue to minister or to a Christian school in the United States.  Please join us in prayer for wisdom and discernment as we make a decision as to where we will move after this school year is finished.

3) New pregnancy – After two pregnancies without any complications, Cristina is trying not to worry about anything going wrong with this third pregnancy.  Keep this new child in prayer that he/she will develop to be a healthy new addition to their family.  Their first doctor’s appointment is scheduled for next Tuesday, August 31 and they believe she is about eight weeks (roughly two months) pregnant.

4) Raising godly sons – Be in prayer with us as we are raising our sons, Jared and Luke, to be godly examples to those around them as they learn about the world around them and the God who created it all.

5) New school year – Be in prayer with us for the new teachers as they start a new year in a new school and learning a new system.  We have around 30 new teachers for middle and high school alone.   Also be with the returning teachers that they will find new passion for their classes and their ministry to the students they will teach this year.

Stephen’s Busy Schedule

Stephen poses with a "cool" shaded Luke.

Stephen always manages to stay busy.  He leaves the house at about 7:45 each morning and (except for a lunch break) often doesn’t come back home until a little before 6pm.

After returning from his conference in Florida at the end of January, he felt he had been equipped with more tools to proceed with the development of curriculum at the school.  He has put into effect a curriculum mapping program to help continue to improve each subject area that is offered at the school. 

This is also the time of year in which current teachers are required to let the school know if they will be continuing in their position for next year.  Several vacancies have opened up in the secondary department in the past few months and Stephen has been involved in the searching and recruiting of new teachers.  Slowly, but surely, we are getting those positions filled.

Now only is he interviewing new teachers to come to the school, he has also been interviewing new students looking at transferring to the Alliance Academy next year.  His days are usually filled with meetings of different kinds and he doesn’t get to his administrative paperwork until the end of the school day when everyone is gone. 

He has also began searching different international schools for openings in secondary administration, especially high school principal or director/head master of a school.  Many of these positions hire a year in advance.  So, he is beginning his search this year for the 2011-2012 school year. 

We still plan to stay in Ecuador for at least one more school year.