A Letter of Introduction
From Mr. Alan Giles
Dear friends and families of Apple Valley Christian School,
As you have seen from our various communications outlets, Pastor John will be transitioning to a campus pastor/chaplain role within AVCS and I will be assuming the head leadership position. This is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. As the AVCS school board president from 2012-2014, I had the joy of overseeing the excellent staff at AVCS as they wielded their gifts for the Kingdom of God and trained up Christian leaders committed to excellence and I am excited to return to a very similar role within this great institution.
For some of you, you might be wondering who I am and why these changes are being made heading into the 2017/18 school year. I will begin with a brief introduction that goes way back in time. In 1986, my parents enrolled me in Apple Valley Christian School. After being brought up in AVCS through my elementary and secondary years, I graduated from AVCS in 1999. From there I went to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland where I graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in engineering and a commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy. After serving 5 years as a submarine officer I moved back home to Apple Valley and took a position with General Atomics Aeronautical in Drone Research & Development. Since that time, I have had the privilege of both founding the AVCS Alumni Foundation and being on the charter board, and then the AVCS board president for the formation of an independent AVCS. I have also started and run a small engineering company and, most recently, planted a church here in the High Desert (Ekklesia HD), where I still pastor today. I even coached boys varsity basketball at AVCS from 2012-2017.
When it comes to the development of my leadership skills, I was blessed to have completed extensive leadership training at our nations “leadership laboratory” at the U.S. Naval Academy, earned an advanced Nuclear Engineering Officer qualification in the Navy, earned a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University and am currently completing a John Maxwell leadership certification so that I can continue to train and coach new leaders around the world.
When it comes to ministry, I have been blessed and honored to see God plant a church through our home. I pastor, lead and preach regularly. I am actively involved in global missions in countries such as Albania and Ukraine, and I have a heart for church planting, hoping and working towards seeing our church send out church planters both locally and around the world.
As a husband and father, I am committed to Christian homes, family-driven faith and seeing children raised up in the way they should go.
In short, I know and love AVCS and the children that make the ministry here so important. I know and love the art of leadership. I know and love our High Desert. But most importantly, I know and love Jesus and recognize very clearly that we have all been created to Glorify God with our lives.
So why the changes at AVCS? In short, I believe it was just God’s timing that a few changes be made to AVCS’ leadership structure in order to begin to strengthen the long-term future of our school. I am committed to training Christian leaders who are committed to excellence. I define excellence as the persistent pursuit of perfection. Will we achieve perfection? Not in this life. But if we persistently pursue it… then I believe we can achieve excellence. Will there be some changes at AVCS over the next months and years? Yes, of course. Will AVCS be perfect? No, never. Will we persistently pursue perfection? Yes, with tenacity.
What will Pastor John be up to? I think you will quickly come to see that Pastor John Richart and I have been friends for many years and have both been used by God for His Kingdom in many ways both individually and in partnership. We each have different skill sets, strengths and weaknesses and work extremely well together. John Richart and I have transitioned AVCS two times (I Ave & Ottawa Building), have planted a church together, been on missions trips together, are currently serving on an elder board together and even have a shared affinity for all things bacon related. Pastor John and his wife, Joy and their children are close family friends and we continue to remain in step in ministry together.
John will be… well… Pastor John. He will be teaching a couple of Bible classes, overseeing chapels and spiritual formation for both students and staff and greeting you in the parking lot with his Packers mug just like normal. I think we will enjoy watching him leading staff & student retreats, missions trips, spiritual emphasis week, chapels and of course… the annual cheeseball contest! In short, Pastor John has been and will continue to be a part of AVCS as well as a close friend and partner in ministry.
Finally, what will be changing? I have already begun to work closely with key staff members on next year’s goals and objectives and on building systems and teams that will lead us into the future. I believe that organizations that have the right people in the right systems freely doing the things that God has designed them to do achieve excellence. Let me say that again. Organizations that have the right people in the right systems freely doing the things that God has designed them to do achieve excellence. That’s what we’re after.
Some of my personal goals for AVCS over the next few years are to:
- Increase the level of discipline and accountability within the staff
and student body.
- Increase the flow of communication between the all levels of the
- Increase the parental involvement at every level possible (more
- Place an emphasis on the leadership development aspect of our
- And, most importantly, to be distinctly Christian.
Feel free to email me any questions you might have (email@example.com). Feel free to say hello and introduce yourself as you begin to see me on campus more frequently. Feel free to attend one of the parent meeting/Q&A evenings next week to ask me any questions you would like to ask.
Please pray for the staff as they finish strong, for the class of 2017 and all of the children who have worked hard to move one step closer to graduation. And I covet your prayers as we begin to look forward to the 2017/18 school year.
More to follow so stay tuned…