Regents’ has been so excited to welcome back Amelia Park as a long-term substitute teacher this winter and spring. Ms. Park holds the distinction of being the first former Regents student to come back to teach at our school! She attended Regents in eighth, ninth and tenth grade and returned this January to teach Latin I, Logic II and Geometry.
“Amelia has been such an answer to prayer,” said College Counselor Jackie Jamison. “We were down a Logic & Rhetoric School teacher at the beginning of the year, which meant Mr. Webb was teaching four classes on top of his duties as the principal. We prayed and prayed for the right person, and not only did Amelia step up, but she also postponed leaving for the mission field in Ecuador to finish out this semester.” Here’s a Q & A with Ms. Park.
What was Regents like when you attended?
“When I started Regents in 2014, it was so small that it was a miracle my mom even found out about the school. We would drive by everyday because we live on Ivy Road,” says Ms. Park. “When I started in eighth grade, there were three other students in my grade, and two ninth graders - and there were no other students above us.”
“It was such a blessing because everything we did was in community. There wasn’t this long history of students who came before us and we had this mindset of ‘can we make space for a new tradition?’ and ‘this is an opportunity and let’s see what works and develop that.’ Having three years to walk through that way of thinking was a fun adventure.”
Did you have a favorite part of Regents?
“My favorite part of Regents - and what made it so different than every other educational experience I’ve had - is how the older students interacted with the younger students. We had the responsibility to be a good role model and that was powerful. One of the reasons I have felt called to be a teacher is the enjoyment I found in mentoring the younger students and taking ownership of the school."
How did attending Regents change you?
“This school was absolutely the catalyst for the faith I have today. When I share my testimony, I tell everyone that my time at Regents was when my eyes were opened to walking after Jesus. It’s because I got to see students and families committed to each other with a love that was not self-seeking. The parents loved all the students like they were their own. I got to experience the way teachers helped us get along with each other, and how they taught in the name of Jesus not because this was Sunday School but because it was the truth. It was captivating."
"I was asking questions about my faith before I came to Regents. I had been going to public school and was just going to church on Sunday mornings and Sunday School was not answering my questions. Coming to Regents, my questions were answered. Teachers were willing to be level with me about who Jesus is and why it makes a difference in my life. I remember walking around the Gaga pit and praying, thinking ‘this is such a cool school. This is what I’ve been looking for my whole life,' - even though I was just 12. I love that my faith was born in this school. I’m really grateful.”
“The biggest change I experienced from being at Regents is it taught me what it is to have a biblical worldview. It’s funny to even think about that now, it is so foreign to think about NOT having a biblical worldview. Now I have to really think about what it’d be like not to see everything in the light of what God has done and the story He is telling through the world. Regents is where that perspective started for me. I developed the mindset when I look at literature or science or history to think, ‘how do I analyze this in light of biblical truth?’ Exploring the world through that lens was a revelation.”
What teachers impacted you most?
“When I think back on some of the teachers that impacted me most, I think of Mrs. Atwell for her genuine spirit and how in love she is with creativity. And Mr. Stevens who taught physics and loved sharing the ordered nature of God’s creation with us. Something that I loved about Mr. Stevens was his patience. We were a challenging group at times and I saw that having patience with us wasn’t easy for him - but I also saw him rely on the Lord for that patience, and that affected me deeply.”
What is next for you?
Ms. Park graduated from Liberty in 2022 with a degree in Global Studies and minors in Spanish and Teaching English as a Second Language. In the summer of 2021, between her junior and senior year in college, she went with a group of Liberty students to teach English in Ecuador where she briefly served at Antioch Academy, a school run by the mission organization Jungle Kids for Christ in a little riverside port community. “As I interacted with the missionaries who lived there and learned more about the ministry they were committing their lives to, so many things awoke inside of me. Everyone is working together to influence these kids with the love of Jesus in the hope that they will go back to their communities and be a light that not just changes their immediate circumstances but also breaks cycles of entrenched poverty and abuse for future generations. Students are graduating with the desire and ability to live in a way that honors God, a way that may be unheard of in their communities.”
In June, Ms. Park will embark on two years as an ESL teacher with Jungle Kids for Christ in Ecuador. “It has been such a blessing to begin teaching at Regents this year. I feel like I’m being given the opportunity to learn from the experienced teachers while I’m still in a familiar environment. There is so much to learn but I try to focus on one thing that I can do better after each class. Teaching is hard - but I praise God because it keeps me turning back to Him and I am so thankful for that.” Ms. Park has raised $14,000 of the $36,000 she needs for the mission field. If you feel called to support her as she brings the name and love of Jesus where it is very needed, email her at email@example.com or donate online. Check out the work of Jungle Kids for Christ here!