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Educating students to bless our world as disciples of Jesus Christ

Olivia Edge

"As a teacher, I strive for academic excellence, and I push these students to achieve their potential, however their academic success is not my end goal. My hope is for every child to leave my classroom recognizing their (and all people's) inherent value as image-bearers of God, and thus, strive to glorify Him to the best of their God-given abilities."

 

Teaches: 6th Grade English/Language Arts & Middle School Theater

Degree: B.A. English Literature and Theatre, Vanderbuilt University

Oliva and Family
Olivia with her family.

Olivia Edge has been teaching at WCCS since the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year. She is the youngest of five children who grew up outside of Atlanta in a little town called Oxford, Georgia. She has lived in New Hampshire, Tennessee, and North Carolina as well, but has called Rock Hill her home for the last 12 years, where she lives with her two children, Eli and Julia, and her dog Lola Claire. She has worked as a professional musical theatre actress for the past twenty-plus years, but is thrilled with her new vocation as a teacher of English/Language Arts and Middle School Theatre here at WCCS. Her family attends church at Ebenezer ARP, where she sings in the choir and with the praise team. She has served as the President of Women's Ministries at Ebenezer, as well as a circle and Bible study leader. She still performs theatre as her schedule allows, and she enjoys watching her children in all their activities. 

What do you love most about WCCS? 

I love teaching students in an environment that is filled with the love of Jesus! The classrooms are governed by grace, which is central to our faith. As a teacher, I strive for academic excellence, and I push these students to achieve their potential. Our curriculum is rigorous! However, their academic success is not the end goal. My hope is for every child to leave my classroom recognizing their (and all people's) inherent value as image-bearers of God, and thus, strive to glorify Him to the best of their God-given abilities.

Olivia
Ms. Edge with some of her students and fellow
teacher, Savannah Watts.

Why do you love teaching or working at WCCS? 

The middle school faculty and administration has been an amazing support system for me. There is a family feel to our school. We pray for each other. We help each other. My wonderful principal doesn't treat me as just a worker, but as a whole person, with a family and life outside of teaching. The families of the children that I teach are also fantastic. The parents partner with us in helping to shape these sweet children into disciples of Christ.

What is one word that best describes the school? Tell us why you chose that word. 

Grace-filled. Let's face it--we are all broken people. I make mistakes, students make mistakes, and parents make mistakes, but God's love for us in sending his son Jesus to die for our mistakes should fill us with such gratitude that we overflow with reciprocal grace in our interactions with others. As a teacher, I am able to focus on restorative discipline, and I model asking for and giving forgiveness for my students. There is no mistake so great that God's grace cannot cover. How wonderful it is to work in an environment that recognizes this Biblical truth.

How do you believe WCCS prepares students for success in college and beyond? 

We teach children more than just academic content. We truly focus on aspects of the whole child: spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental health. For example, recognizing that middle school students need more physical activity to support their academic success and their physical health, our principal has implemented two times per day where students are encouraged to get physically active outside of their PE classes. Each day we have a 15 minute break in the morning for kids to run and play games, as well as 15-20 minutes of recess after lunch to do the same. No other middle school in the region area does this!

How is faith and learning integrated at WCCS?

God loves words. His primary way of communicating truth to us is His Word--the Bible. Teaching language arts lends itself easily to Biblical integration. As I teach students how to study and understand literature, they are also developing skills to approach their study of the Bible. God uses poetry, figurative language, and stories to teach us how to live. We, as believers, need to be able to competently read and understand scripture. Also, how we treat our students and colleagues is a reflection of how Jesus is the center of our lives (or not). I strive to be the kind of teacher that exudes the love of Christ. When I mess up, I try to model God's redemptive nature.

As a teacher, what is a unique experience, talent, or interest that you bring to your classroom to help shape the learning experience of your students? For staff, how do you believe God has uniquely equipped you for your position here at WCCS? 

For over twenty years, I worked as a professional actress for the stage, primarily musical theatre. I loved my work in the arts, and I continue to work as my schedule allows in this field. Much of my work was for The Children's Theatre of Charlotte. This professional experience especially equips me as a teacher of theatre arts for middle school. Furthermore, I try to bring a sense of fun to my teaching that springs from my creative and theatrical background. You will often hear me singing instructions to the children, see me dancing to a song about prepositions, or giving a dramatic recitation of a poem. I love my job.

What sets WCCS students apart from other students? 

These students come from families that value a Christ-centered education. We are able to speak truth to these kids, and they are transformed for the better by this. God is at work in the hearts of the children at WCCS!

Share a moment from your time here at WCCS that stands out as something you never want to forget. 

Last year, I was privileged with opportunity to take the 6th grade class on an overnight field study on Jekyll Island. The students learned so much about maritime ecology, even wading into a marsh to study the creatures there. I loved seeing the students soak up information about God's creation in such a hands-on way. What was even more memorable was the time of worship and sharing of our hearts outside of the curriculum during that trip. The class and teachers were able to worship with music and share our testimonies, and just talk about life as a believer. It was a wonderful trip!