When Agape Christian School begins its next school year later this month, two familiar faces will be leading the school.
Sandy Ehlinger, who has worked at the school in several different capacities over the years, was recently named as the school’s director and started her first day on the job Wednesday.
“I believe in the foundation of Christian values for children and this is the place to really instill those values in them,” Ehlinger said. “Agape provides those things for spiritual and character development as well as academic excellence. I just wanted to be part of that.”
The non-denominational school is currently accepting enrollment for classes starting Aug. 27. The school, located at 1401 E. 24th Street, has a capacity for 300 students, offers educational opportunities for children age 18-months through the sixth grade with Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes.
Nevanen, a former high school teacher with the McAllen school district, has worked at Agape for nearly four years as an English teacher. The new position of assistant director was created to help develop a bridge between the prekindergarten and elementary students at the school. Despite her new position, Navanen said she plans to keep teaching.
“I’d help in the office but I’d really want to be a teacher, that’s where my heart is-in the classroom with kids,” Navanen said. “I’m here to help students achieve their potential academic success and develop an appreciation for the Christian faith.”
Ehlinger started working for the school as a business manager and then its daycare supervisor more than 20 years ago, she said, adding that her familiarity with the school will help her serve as its director.
For both women, their goal as directors is to ensure their students excel academically and spiritually.
“Children learn so much in the first few years of their life forging relationships and connections with their families and trusted adults around them,” Ehlinger said.
“When you take that into consideration, we know we need to add additional spiritual growth to their development. With that, you have nowhere to grow but up.”
Agape Christian School has an open enrollment policy where any potential student can apply.
“I have an open door policy, my goal is to listen and meet the needs of each child and their parents,” Ehlinger said. “We here at Agape are willing to listen and accommodate our students. That’s half the battle.”