Church Affiliation: Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Cedar Grove
Family Information: I come from a family of five boys (my poor, dear mother): James, Timothy, David, Paul, and Jonathan. My parents, John and Lola Cornette, are alive and well in Greer, SC. Shannon has an older sister, Michelle, and a younger brother, Christopher. Her parents, Myron and Barb, are alive and (mostly) well in Beloit, WI. Myron is fighting cancer. Our Lord has blessed us with seven children:
Alyssa Mabel (21)
Calvin Myron (20)—SCS grad!
Annie Michelle (18)—SCS grad!
Iain Murray (16)—SCS senior
Lauryn Maisy (14)—SCS freshman
Graeme Machen (11)—SCS 7th grader
Liam Michael (7)—Homeschooled (Ulcerative Colitis struggles); I would love to see him at SCS, but Shannon is not ready for that.
Employment Information: I have been in pastoral ministry since 1999. I have been pastor of Calvary OPC since November, 2015. Before that, I was the pastor of Grace OPC in South Jersey for 16 years, leading a transition from a Reformed Baptist congregation to a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
Church/School Activities you are or have been involved with: Well, in the local church, just about every dimension of church life involving gathering, growing and glorifying our Triune God. I have been involved in discipleship from the youngest to the oldest of age groups; nursery, “children’s church,” youth group, Christian Ed at the macro level; hospital, house, hospice visits; crisis and discipleship counseling; teaching at all levels; VBS; residential facilities for the elderly, doing visits, leading devotional services; music ministry of all kinds, in and out of church services; home Bible studies; and so on. In the regional church of my denomination, I am chair of the Presbytery of the Midwest Diaconal Committee, which covers eight states as well as the Upper Peninsula.
At SCS, I have spoken in chapel services, taught a class for a semester or two, and am currently a substitute teacher. I was the speaker at the class of 2022 graduation ceremony.
What do you like most about SCS? Clearly, the LORD led us here, but he used her presence. Back in Jersey we homeschooled, avoiding a tough state school context. I had a low salary, Shannon worked hard as a homemaker but not outside the home for wages. There were no vouchers. Christian School costs for our family were way beyond us. Wisconsin’s voucher program opened the door to send our kids to SCS. It was the Lord’s good will to bring us to Wisconsin, within reach of SCS, and to provide the means. HOWEVER, meeting Ann Steenwyk was it for me as father. Her passion, communication of the SCS vision, leadership, clear love for students, and her gifted way of dealing faithfully and kindly with people stood out to me. From our experience so far, SCS is filled with sinful, imperfect, loving and faithful teachers and staff. There is a pretty big commitment to community life. We are geographically out of the community, which comes with challenges, but we are so blessed.
What do you think is the most important goal for SCS? My conviction is that the call to ‘bring our children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord’ (Ephesians 6:4) goes beyond the moral realm to include all of life. “The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them” (Psalm 89:11). While the call is to the home and to parents, it certainly embraces the church, Christian community, and the Christian academy. I fully embrace SCS’s wholistic approach to seeing God in every arena of life, in every academic subject. I think our core goal should be to send graduates forth whose academics flow out of a God-centered, Christ-adoring worldview. This is different than academics with a Christian perspective added.
Why did you accept to be nominated for the School Board? I cannot recall the exact time or words, but there was a call for parents to be a committed part of the SCS community. I wanted to be part of the solution to the challenges and problems SCS, like any school, faces. I have often not found it doable to be part of some of the “grunt” work/volunteer efforts, due to my back pain and busyness as a pastor. Here is what I know: I LOVE people, people of all ages. From young children all the way through teens, and the elderly. Hormone-driven Middle Schoolers do not stress me out, nor do smart-mouthed teens. I love people of all shapes and sizes, backgrounds and ethnicities. Spiritually, I long to see kids graduate and NOT walk away from Jesus. My heart breaks over this continuing trend. According to Scripture, this nurture must happen in the home; but SCS has a supporting role, especially when it is absent in the home, that just vital. Investing in students for the sake of the gospel? I’m in!