"I'm a Dad, and I love my students as if they were my own. I build relationships with them and seek to let them know that I care about them beyond the student/teacher relationship. I want them to feel valued, accepted, and encouraged! "
Position: 5th Grade Teacher
Degree: B.A., History, Mary Baldwin College, Hampden-Sydney College; M.A. in Teaching, The Citadel; MDiv, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Oxford University
Rusty Fleming has been teaching at WCCS since the 2018-2019 school year. He and his wife, Jennifer, have five children and currently attend Central Baptist Church of York where Rusty serves on the worship team, leading, singing, and playing the keyboard. In his free time, he enjoys basketball, running, lifting weights, watching TV, writing and singing songs, camping, and taking his wife on dates!
What do you love most about WCCS?
The people (students, parents, faculty and staff). It is a great bunch of individuals to be around. They are encouraging, supportive, and excellent in what they do. The students are bright, funny, caring, and determined. The parents are fun and supportive. It's the people that make this place great!
Why do you love teaching or working at WCCS?
I love the freedom to be totally who God made me to be. I can share my heart, my years of spiritual learning, and whatever Godly wisdom the Lord has given me without fear of repercussion or rebuke! AND...I get to teach subjects I love and see the joy on students' faces when they understand and succeed! This place is a joyful place. It is a safe and loving atmosphere to learn, to grow and to share. There is a sense of peace here that opens so many doors to invest in the lives of students and fellow staff. It is such a joy to be in this environment!
How do you believe WCCS prepares students for success in college and beyond?
At WCCS, we have the opportunity to build in students a strength of character, a confidence in who they are, and a firm foundation in the Lord. These are key things to success in academics and in life!
How is faith and learning integrated at WCCS?
It is integrated all the time. From the classroom where Bible is taught (and not just in Bible class, but also throughout the day in other subjects), to the administrator that prays with students, to the staff worker who will leave a note of encouragement for a teacher or love on students!
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?
First of all, I'm a guy - so, I bring a male perspective to everything. Students need a strong male role model as they grow and having one in the classroom as a teacher is a plus. Second, I have a passion for worship and use my guitar in the classroom to lead worship and to find songs for instructional purposes. I love using music and media to reach students both academically and spiritually. Third, I am very comfortable in front of groups and have been gifted with the ability to "entertain" as I teach. I utilize this when I preach as well as in the classroom. Fourth (and possible should be nearer to number 1), I'm a Dad, and I love my students as if they were my own. I build relationships with them and seek to let them know that I care about them beyond the student/teacher relationship. I want them to feel valued, accepted, and encouraged! Last, I'm fun. I think learning should be fun. I think the classroom should be fun. Students will learn better if they are in a comfortable place where they enjoy themselves (plus the other stuff I mentioned)!
What sets WCCS students apart from other students?
That's a tough question. I've been in public and private schools. I've worked with secular groups of young people and church groups of young people. I could mention that parents are very supportive, but that's not found only at private Christian schools. I could say the kids are mostly church-going kids, but that is also not only a private school thing. I think it's the culture and the relationships that can be developed between teachers and students that sets them apart. I think it's symbiotic in nature. I think the environment allows the students to be more of who God wants them to be and that sets them apart!
Share a moment from your time here at WCCS that stands out as something you never want to forget.
In November of 2018, I tore a ligament in my ribs from a severe coughing episode. I missed a couple of schooldays because I couldn't move without a lot of pain. When I did return to school, the students knew that I couldn't do as much as normal, especially talk as much (talking made me cough which caused tremendous pain in my chest). For the entire day back the students were the best they had ever been (behavior wise). They would stop me from talking and ask if they could read what I was reading or if they could help teach in any way. They offered to work in groups (quietly) so that I wouldn't have to do as much. They blessed me so much that day and showed me such great care and concern that I will never forget it!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
There's more to my story that I don't have the time or space to share, but that gives you the jist of it. Suffice it to say that I am a believer who, like Paul, struggles to be obedient. But, I am thankful that the answer to my struggles is the same as the one for my salvation - Jesus Christ. He fills my heart, He has given me a wonderful family, He has allowed me the privilege of serving, teaching and loving on the students at WCCS, and He is walking with me daily to help me continue to grow and grow into who He wants me to be.