An Open Letter to RCS Faculty and Staff
From Superintendent Todd Lundberg
Dear RCS teachers, administrators, office staff, TA’s, kitchen staff, maintenance & custodial staff, bus drivers, support lab staff, ELC staff, librarian, and classified personnel:
Thank you! I appreciate you!
I appreciate that you share the gospel of Jesus Christ as the foundation of all we do at RCS.
We aren’t a ‘private school’. We are a ‘Christian School’. You and I both know that doesn’t mean we are perfect. We are flawed… and ‘in process’ both personally and professionally… and we make mistakes. But when we say RCS is a Christian school it means we are about preaching, teaching, and doing our best to live out the gospel. We do that collectively… but you do it individually, in whatever role you play, and that’s what makes the gospel the centerpiece of what we do: you live it out daily. From teaching the Bible and Christian Thought in a classroom to modeling compassion and care to speaking the truth of God’s Word to a culture that has itching ears for an endorsement of sin… you continue to walk out your calling of ministry to the students under your influence. You keep our main thing the main thing.
I appreciate that you go multiple extra miles and do things behind the scenes that likely only you know about.
Few if any know about the extra mile you go. Few if any know about the work you do at home grading papers, prepping lessons, and brainstorming solutions. Few if any know about the weekend days you spend in your classroom. Few if any know about the money you spend out of your pocket for the extras you want for your kids. Few if any know about the deep burden you carry for the salvation of your students. Few if any know about the time spent in prayer for children under your care who are navigating trouble at home or doubts about themselves and their God. Though I don’t know the specifics of days and times that this takes place… I know it does. And I appreciate you and your desire to teach and lead well.
I appreciate that you are willing to show tough love to students.
I appreciate that you hold students accountable and don’t just let them slide by. In a culture where many schools are afraid to call students to an academic standard and hold that line for their long term benefit, you are serious about ‘readying students for tomorrow’ by requiring the work, turning it in on time, and meeting the standard. I appreciate that you are willing to call students to account for behavior that disrespects others and dishonors God. I appreciate that you are not willing to preside over a moral and ethical free for all. I appreciate your tough love.
I appreciate that you communicate soft love and compassion.
I appreciate that you are not ‘tough love only’. Thank you for meeting flawed children of all ages with the grace and compassion of Jesus Christ. Thank you for hugging them. Thank you for encouraging them and telling them that they can do it. Thank you for even granting them favor that they don’t deserve when the situation allows and thus modeling for them the unmerited favor that each of us receives from our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ the savior. Thank you for giving students a chance… again… even when they don’t “deserve it”. I appreciate that you love our students well.
I appreciate that you live out your calling for ‘missionary wages’.
Parents and Grandparents make an investment of money so their children and grandchildren can attend Riverside. Some do that at great sacrifice. I am thankful for the students that they do. But nobody sacrifices financially more than you do. If it was about the money, you would be working someplace else. But you are called by God to invest in this place, for this mission, for such a time as this. Increasing your wages remains a primary goal for me in my role. I appreciate your calling to Christian education and respect you for living that out in a financial reality that is sacrificial.
I appreciate that you fight through adversity and fatigue.
Only school faculty & staff know the reality of the grind that is a school year. Many think teachers ‘only work 9 months of the year so it must be a breeze’. Only you know how false that narrative is. Educators are not the only people in the world who have a challenging job… but your direct responsibility for children day after day, week after week, month after month… is a sobering responsibility. You keep going when you’re tired, you keep going as you navigate conflict, you keep going when your personal life gets sideways. You are tough. Toughness matters and I see it. Thank you.
So to all RCS teachers and staff during staff appreciation week 2023… and EVERYDAY of the year!… not only do I appreciate you, I respect and admire you for who you are and all that you do. You’re the best! Thank You!