Awarded by the Council for American Private Education, beloved faculty member of twelve years, Mr. Wright, takes on the role as New Jersey’s Non-Public Teacher of the Year. Being an unexpected honor, Wright mentions, “I have received countless rejection letters but at this point in my life, I view it as a vehicle that the Lord might use to keep me on my toes and to keep pushing forward.” Throughout years of dedication and passion, Mr. Wright continues to be a role model in EC’s community. His admiration for the school and its close-knit, loving family is something that shines through in his daily work, and encourages his walk as a disciple of Christ.
Wright’s story behind his career and his experiences leading up to the acceptance of this award remains an inspiration to not only other members of Eastern Christian, but to devoted followers of the Lord everywhere.
As a dedicated staff member since 2009, Mr. Wright has been serving in the education field for several years now. Teaching and acting as a guide for students is something he has felt called toward. “It became clear to me that every year I was being asked to teach, despite pursuing other things,” describes Wright. Before his commitment to Eastern Christian, he alternated work between graphic design, web design, and marketing, along with pursuing the spread of ministry while serving in the missions field. That’s when God brought to the table an offer that encompassed everything. Wright exclaims, “The call to teach for me was the call to serve God. There hasn’t been a day that I haven't been excited to see how God might show up on the EC ‘mission field’.” Mr. Wright continues to view the EC administration as an outlet for Christ to move the lives of young ones day by day.
Understanding Wright’s long-lasting relationship with the school, he has also come across various staff members who have been in and out during his time teaching. A memorable example would be Mr. Beverly, a late humanities teacher who sadly passed away a few years back. Beverly was the last from Eastern Christian to have accepted this award, back in 2010. Wright’s beloved friendship with Beverly remains yet another reason this acceptance is so cherishable. “Micah 6:8 was Paul’s mission. I am honored to have won the award after a figure who was very inspiring and encouraged people by inspiring them to step out of their comfort zone to bring positive changes,” Wright reminisces. Even today, Mr. Wright continues to live that mission on.
Although he was familiar with the award because of Mr. Beverly, this is still not something he imagined for himself. “I’m always ready to throw my hat into the ring, I just don’t always expect to get my hat back”, jokes Wright. Essentially, he goes on to say how he is always up to trying something, despite whether or not it will succeed. Mr. Wright was nominated for this award around the end of last school year. Throughout the duration of the summer, he completed various applications with the assistance of Mr. Intlekofer, who helped navigate the interview process by leading him to better see what it is that he does in education.
Along with an abundance of gratitude, Mr. Wright hopes to use this award as an opportunity to learn and grow as both a teacher and an individual. Moving forward, his next step is to ensure that he is making an impact on those around him. “Hopefully, I’ve been a part of helping students recognize the gift that the Lord has blessed them with and come alongside them using that gift and voice towards having a positive impact,” Wright shares. His motivation to encourage students to give it their all both in the classroom and for the Lord is something that makes him stand out as such a prominent winner.
Above all, Mr. Wright believes that the entire school deserves this award for its determination and support. After a rough year and a half, he brings to attention how Eastern Christian families have come together to make things work following such a degrading pandemic. He goes to enforce that it has called for a collaborative team effort to get the system up and running as close as possible to the way it once did, and we should all be recognized for that. Mr. Wright remains a figure of kindness and appreciation, as well as a possession of a pure heart for all of our board to witness.
“We all endeavor to strive for excellence. While it is nice to receive an acknowledgement, I genuinely lift this up on behalf of the amazing collaboration at EC amongst the teachers, the administration, the outstanding students, the parents/guardians, and community members beyond these walls that all come together to make this a district of character and competence," Wright encourages. And he actively speaks the truth. Our community is one that is hard to forget.