Dan Zacharias ’86

Dan Zacharias

  • Executive Director of Old Dominion Association of Church Schools

“The reward is always proportional to the challenge,” says Dan Zacharias, PCC grad and executive director of Old Dominion Association of Church Schools. “Serving God is highly rewarding, but it is also highly challenging.”

As a teenager, Zacharias (’86) felt the Lord calling him into Christian education. For two years, he prayed about it before God led him to Pensacola Christian College, where he studied his two favorite subjects—math and English. “I like PCC for its rigorous academics. A challenging college atmosphere is important for preparing men and women who will take on challenging tasks for the cause of Christ, counting the cost, and persevering in the will of God.”

After graduation, Zacharias taught at a small Christian school in South Carolina, where he met and married Karen, also a PCC graduate (’87). Soon after, the couple moved to Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, where Zacharias taught at a Christian school before becoming principal. He also coached soccer and was a member of the Old Dominion Association of Church Schools (ODACS) board. He and Karen were happy serving where God had them; little did they know He had even more in store for them.

In 2003, God began to show Zacharias the need for Christians to be involved in politics. “I knew that the Holy Spirit was trying to prepare me for something, but I didn’t know what.  So I just waited and prayed,” he said. Two years later, ODACS contacted Zacharias and asked him to submit his résumé for the position of executive director. The timing was perfect. “I’d have never been willing to give up my Christian school work had it not been for that two-year journey of spiritual preparation,” Dan said.

For forty years, ODACS has played a key role in preserving Christian education liberties in Virginia. Now under the leadership of Zacharias, ODACS continues to connect Christian schools across the state, providing opportunities for them to participate in politics as well as fine arts, Bible quiz tournaments, sports, and academic competitions.

As executive director, Zacharias organizes events like lobbying in Richmond and on Capitol Hill. “God has blessed ODACS with legislative and regulatory influence that is disproportionate to our size,” Zacharias said. “We currently hold a seat on the Virginia Board of Social Services. Many of our lawmakers in Richmond value our opinion and are open to our input.”

Over the years, ODACS has grown in its influence. Zacharias said, “I hope that God will continue to use ODACS as a tool to reinvigorate the cause of Christian education. I’d like to see many of our students become the future pastors, administrators, teachers, and parents who will carry on the important cause of the Christian school.”

Andrew Robinson ’89

Andrew Robinson

  • Secondary Principal, North Hills Christian School (Vallejo, CA)
  • District Representative, Association of Christian Schools International
  • Serves on the Accreditation Commission for ACSI in CA

“My daily responsibilities involve overseeing the daily operation of the upper grades and teaching four classes of junior high Bible and science. My favorite part of the educational field is the interaction with students and parents and the opportunity to have a positive influence in the lives of our students. I enjoy being able to see them accomplish great things and knowing that I have helped to set the building blocks in place for their future endeavors.

“My four summers at PCC really equipped me to be able to face the challenges that come to anyone in the educational field. The classes I took were beneficial because they were practical and informative, not just busy work to complete a degree.

“The encouragement from the professors at PCC has helped me to understand the importance of what I am doing. Dr. Mullenix gave some very insightful instruction, and because of that I feel that I am better qualified to meet the daily challenges. Dr. Horton spoke to us in a number of classes, and I greatly respect him for all that he has done to make PCC the quality institution it is today. His little tidbits of information concerning administrative practices have helped tremendously over the years, and hopefully have kept me from making major mistakes in my ministry.”

Melissa Fuqua ’88

Melissa Fuqua

  • High School Principal, Bay Area Christian School (League City, TX)
  • M.S. in Educational Administration: Pensacola Christian College

“I am responsible for the supervision of teachers, curriculum, student life, and discipline. I started out as a coach and history teacher for several years, and then unexpectedly the Lord allowed me the opportunity to advance and step in as interim principal. I returned to PCC to get my master’s and have been principal ever since.

“PCC trained me to strive to do all things with excellence. You may work at a school with a small budget and no technology or equipment, but you can still do things excellently with what you have. As a principal, I prize teachers who do things as unto the Lord and are on time, dependable, self-starters, competent in their subject, and able to kindly and professionally deal with students and parents. PCC’s education department expected that of me daily, which really put me ahead of the competition.

“Another valuable lesson I learned at PCC that has helped me as a principal is to lead with humility. Since I started my career in the classroom, I understand what the teachers are experiencing and can support them better. It is necessary to be approachable by faculty, students, and parents. My instructors at PCC were always approachable and it was clear they wanted to help me succeed. Education calls for teamwork. There is no room for petty competitiveness or superior attitudes, and I have seen good leadership modeled by faculty and friends at PCC.”

Ben Reid ’05

Ben Reid

  • Junior/Senior High School Teacher, Old Suwanee Christian School (Buford, GA)
  • M.S. in Science Education: Pensacola Christian College

“In addition to teaching science, Algebra 1 and 2, and Geometry, some of my other responsibilities include running 7th and 8th grade clubs and being in charge of various activities such as the science fair.

“My favorite part about teaching is the interaction with the students. Seeing them grow mentally and spiritually makes teaching more rewarding to me than many other occupations combined. I also enjoy the subjects that I teach. The science field is always growing, and it is fun to tell my students about the new things that are happening daily. In the mathematics field, I am always challenged to grow mentally and to stay at my best.

“PCC helped me by providing the knowledge and understanding I would need to stay ahead of my classes and by preparing me to be a well-rounded teacher.”

Aaron Ainsworth ’99
  • Teacher, Milford Christian Academy (Milford, OH)

Aaron said his favorite part of working in the educational field is “teaching and training others. This is my twelfth year teaching, and I enjoy it more the longer I do it.

“The demanding education program at PCC certainly prepared me for what I am doing today because of the hands-on practice I was able to do through my internship, the size classes I was able to teach in at PCA, and the expectations that were expected of me while I was teaching.”

Wesley Courser ’93

Wesley Courser

  • Principal, Coshocton Christian School (Coshocton, OH)

“My duties as principal include supervising staff, enrolling students, managing school finances, overseeing the computer network, working with parents of students and students themselves, and making sure the school is compliant with state laws.

“My favorite part of working in the education field is that each day brings new challenges and victories. Even though the school schedule may be the same, there is never a monotonous routine because I am working with students and staff who have so many interesting and differing character traits. It is wonderful to see students learn academically and spiritually.

“PCC helped prepare me for teaching because of the practical knowledge that the teachers instilled in me during student teaching. Perhaps the greatest preparation was learning how to manage a classroom successfully by setting boundaries and routines to help students succeed. Then as a student teacher, I had the chance to put that knowledge into practice during my internship at PCA.

“PCC prepares Christian school teachers to be servants which is essential in being a part of a Christian school ministry because you could be called upon to do many things above and beyond the normal teaching duties.”

Steve Barnes ’00
  • Teacher, Liberty Baptist School (San Jose, CA)

“In addition to teaching Physical Education, I also coach after-school teams and serve as the athletic director for the junior high and high school sports program. I came to Liberty directly after college and have been working here for eleven years. As it turns out, the Lord allowed me to work at the high school I graduated from.

“I love teaching elementary physical education. There is nothing better than forty-five minutes with twenty K5 students.

“The program at PCC greatly prepared me for what I am doing. The education classes are second to none because they gave me the tools needed to effectively educate children. I felt so ready to walk right into class the first day of school.

“One of the most valuable training aspects was the critical thinking skills. I learned not only methods and concepts, but also how to take those methods and apply them.”

Minne Bouma ’97

Minne Bouma

  • Principal, Central Baptist Academy (Brantford, ON, Canada)
  • M.S. in Educational Administration: Pensacola Christian College

“I am currently the principal at Central Baptist Academy, a ministry of Central Baptist Church in Brantford, Ontario. I also maintain the operation of the school, meet with prospective parents, and review school curriculum. I enjoy interacting with the students, investing my own life into theirs, and then seeing where God leads them in the future.

“The best part of PCC’s education for me was its practicality. I have spoken to other principals that have finished a master’s degree, and they have told me that they have never used any of the information they learned in classes at their schools. I have used information from every single one of my courses to make me a better principal.

“I have earned certification from the Association of Christian Schools International as both a teacher and an administrator, and I’m now preparing my family to move to Portugal, answering God’s call to be career missionaries, assisting the missionary school and training the Portuguese youth for serving Christ.

“PCC’s program gave me the biblical foundation to point students to God through my teaching, and I am still extremely thankful for PCC and how it changed my life.”

Lylliam Dunbar ’89

Lylliam Dunbar

  • Associate Director of Curriculum and Chair of the Department of Liberal Arts, Trinity International University’s Florida Regional Center (Davie, FL)
  • M.S. in Educational Administration: Pensacola Christian College
  • M.S. in English Education: Nova Southeastern University
  • Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction: Florida International University

“I currently have a full-time administrative position at TIU-FRC. I oversee the curriculum for the undergraduate program and am the point person/contact for all the adjunct instructors for the undergraduate program (except for Elementary Education instructors).

“My Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from PCC certainly helped prepare me for the day-to-day responsibilities of working with others as an educational leader. I think that PCC has a commitment to educational excellence, and students are encouraged to glorify the Lord with their gifts. This example has served me well as I work in the educational setting with students, trying to live this out daily and encourage others to do the same.”

Anna Hoduski ’16

Anna Hoduski

Math education major Anna Hoduski (KS) has a burden to “be the voice” for unborn babies across America. The idea to “be the voice,” which comes from Proverbs 31:8–9, is the slogan for the transcontinental run Anna plans to begin in June 2016 with her sister Sarah Marie. Through this run, Anna hopes to gain more support for unborn babies’ right to life.

Anna’s burden for the right to life began when she was still in elementary school, but it was during her sophomore year at PCC that God really began to work in her heart about her role in doing something for the unborn. After reading Francis Beckwith’s book Defending Life, recommended by her political science teacher, Anna knew that she could defend the right to life from both a biblical and a scientific standpoint. A few days later while jogging near the college campus, she felt God leading her to combine her passion for running and her conviction about the right to life into something that would really get people’s attention.

When Anna told her close friend, junior elementary education major Megan Maier (IL), about her idea for the transcontinental run, she hoped Megan would discourage her immediately; however, Megan started helping Anna think about what needed to be done to make the journey happen.

The list is long, but already God has answered prayers. Someone has volunteered to provide running shoes; another person donated a van; and Answers in Genesis has agreed to be a publicity sponsor. Anna’s older brother is currently designing a website for the campaign; it will be up and running this June. On the website, supporters can buy T-shirts or make a donation to the cause. Anna is hoping that the website will also encourage churches and other venues to schedule her to speak as she travels across the United States.

“I’ll speak as often as they’ll give an opportunity. High schools, churches, anywhere that will open the doors—I’ll be willing to speak,” Anna said. “I want to educate people on some key [pro-life] arguments and also to explain to them why they should believe it.” But Anna hopes to do more than just convince people to believe in a cause. She said, “If you’re going to believe something, don’t just say you believe it, but actually be able to defend it.”

Because Anna wants to do this run the right way, she is training while working hard in her college classes. She is not only training physically but also focusing on her walk with Christ and her knowledge of support material for future speeches. “I have to know my stuff,” Anna said. “I have terms and flashcards to memorize. Ignorance would really hurt the cause.”

In the upcoming months, Anna plans to finish her degree while improving her public speaking abilities in her teaching classes and upcoming internship. She plans to graduate in May 2016, just one month before starting the run.

The run, which totals over 3,000 miles, will begin at the Golden Gate Bridge in California and end 11 months later in Washington, D.C. To complete the trip within a year, Anna plans to run 13.1 miles five days a week with her older sister. Her friend Megan will drive a van in front of them. For lodging, they plan to stay at churches where they are speaking about the pro-life cause.

Thinking about what lies ahead during the next two years, Anna admits that it’s a little frightening at times. But she has been challenged and encouraged during this past school year to keep pressing on. During one message in particular, Anna felt God reassuring her. “Many live under a sentence of death,” Pastor McBride said during his message on Esther’s role in saving her people. “Who do you know that are under a death sentence?”

Anna immediately thought of the unborn. “I don’t have a choice but to live this out,” she said, remembering that message. “It’s the most dangerous place in the world to be an unborn child. It breaks my heart.”

Like Esther, Anna is only one person, but she knows that small numbers do not limit what God can do. “I am one; but if God will use me, I will give everything,” Anna said.

Larry Harold ’96

Larry Harold Science Education

  • Instructional Designer, Hospital Corporation of America

Alumnus Larry Harold (’96) never expected to work in the medical field when he graduated from PCC with a degree in science education. However, when an opportunity at Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) presented itself, he took the first step to what would become a promising career. Before he knew it, Larry was managing people and procedures, ensuring that projects were completed on time and within budget. He said, “I was in a unique position to see and appreciate the work that various teams will do to enable our technologies. I saw my role as the bridge that connects these groups to bring a project or concept from beginning to end.”

“The most valuable part of PCC’s training was being able to work in a group setting,” Larry said. “Organizations have increasingly relied on teams rather than individuals to accomplish their goals. It allows for opportunities to lead when needed and to hear and evaluate ideas from diverse voices.”

As rewarding as he found his managerial position, Larry’s real passion still lay in education. “I was most interested in any opportunity to help with education and training when it came up,” he said. That desire, coupled with his strong foundation in education, led him to pursue a position as an instructional designer within HCA. In this new position, Larry is working to establish training curriculum. “Designing instructional materials effectively takes the understanding of the learners involved and servant leadership to do what it takes to meet their needs,” he said. “PCC is where I began to think critically as I interacted with others. It was also where I saw the importance that one individual can make to affect an organization in a positive light.”

For Larry, this is an exciting time to work in healthcare, and particularly, at HCA. He said, “Our providers seek to give the highest possible care while being challenged by time, changing standards, and regulations. I am able to work in an area to give support and provide the technologies that allow them to do what they do best—meet the patient’s need.”

Jennifer Fleming ’08
  • Fine Arts and Band director, Sumter Christian School (Sumter, SC)

“My favorite part of teaching is being able to impact my students both academically and spiritually.

“Through my classes and internship at PCC, I was able to come into my first year of teaching prepared for the challenges that I knew I would face. I believe that my method classes have helped the most because I was able to practice on my peers long before having a class full of students.”

Learn More

Check out PCC’s education department for the secondary education major.

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