Raising Christian World Changers
Honoring the Ministry of Bill Craig
Mr. Bill Craig is retiring this year after faithfully serving students and families in Christian School ministry for over 30 years. We are so blessed that Mr. Craig has served as the fifth grade teacher at Faith Christian School for the past five years. Prior to coming to FCS, Craig spent 24 years as a teacher at the former Grace Christian Academy here in Yuba City. Prior to his time at Grace, Mr. Craig also had the privilege of teaching for a couple of years at a mission school in Guadalajara, Mexico.
When Grace Christian Academy closed following the 2016-17 school year, Mr. Craig was offered a position as the fifth-grade teacher here at Faith Christian. Although it was sad for the community to see Grace Christian Academy close, Mr. Craig proved to be a great fit for our fifth grade students here at FCS. It has been a huge blessing to have an experienced male teacher skillfully working with our upper elementary students.
He hasn’t always been an upper elementary grade teacher. During his years at Grace Christian, Mr. Craig taught kindergarten, third grade, and a first-second grade combination class. Following the completion of this school year, Bill Craig and his wife will be moving across the country to Virginia to be near their daughter and help with grandchildren.
Mr. Craig’s gentle spirit and kind demeanor will be greatly missed by students and staff on our elementary campus. We wish him well in his retirement and his move to a new community.
Honoring the Ministry of Steve Finlay
Steve Finlay’s service as a beloved member of the Faith Christian School faculty spans more than three decades. Upon his second retirement at the close of the 2021-22 school year, Mr. Finlay will have completed a total of 32 years of service at FCS. Mr. Finlay’s relationship with FCS started with his role as a part-time chemistry teacher in 1983, teaching just one class on his lunch break from his Lab Tech job at the Fremont Hospital. In 1984 he enrolled in a teaching credential program at CSU, Sacramento. The following school year Finlay joined the staff at FCS as a full-time science and math teacher.
For the next 15 years Steve Finlay would instruct students in subjects such as Biology, AP Biology, Chemistry, Physical Science, Life Science, U.S. History, and Choir. Mr. Finlay also served as the Junior High basketball and volleyball coach, and an assistant coach for varsity softball. He often lent his acting and singing talent to the FCS drama department, appearing in several productions such as Fiddler on the Roof, Brigadoon, and Much Ado About Nothing.
After the spring of 2000, Finlay left FCS to serve as a public-school administrator for the next five years. In the fall of 2005, he returned to FCS as the Secondary Campus Principal, a role he would hold for twelve years. Mr. Finlay retired from his role as Principal at Faith Christian High School and Junior High in 2017.
In the fall of 2018, the school needed a full-time science and math teacher. Steve Finlay came out of retirement ‘just to help the school out’ and has continued to serve in that role for the past five school years. Since learning of Mr. Finlay’s retirement, staff members and students alike have wondered out loud about the potential for another return to FCS in the future for the well-loved teacher. Steve’s wife, Paula Finlay, who also served as a teacher at FCS for a total of 38 years, assures us that this time around, her husband’s retirement is not going to be a temporary break from the classroom. Since 2017, the FCS family and visitors are frequently reminded of the Finlay’s impact at Faith Christian School as the FCHS hallway is named “Finlay Hall” in their honor.
Mr. Steve Finlay has been an incredibly positive influence in the lives of students over the years. He will be greatly missed on campus by students and staff alike. The FCS community is so thankful for Mr. Finlay’s faithful and long-standing service to our students and families in the Yuba-Sutter community.
Honoring the Ministries of Lonny Gorton and Dan Wickline
As we honor and celebrate the teaching ministry of Lonny Gorton, we thank God for bringing her to Faith Christian School in 2002 to teach second grade.
Miss Gorton grew up in Yuba City and then went to Southern California and graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with her B.A. in 1987. She continued with graduate studies through Cal State Hayward and the University of San Diego. Through continuing education, she has maintained her California State Teaching Credential and her Association of Christian School International Teacher Certification.
Following her graduation from Point Loma, Miss Gorton began her teaching career at Fremont Christian School in Fremont, California, and continued teaching there from 1990 until 2002. In 2002 when we had an opening in second grade, Mr. Hannold, knew she had been teaching at Fremont Christian and asked if she might be interested in applying for the second grade position. She responded that she had asked administration at Fremont about the possibility of moving to second grade, but they did not have any openings. The rest is history. Miss Gorton was hired in July 2002 and has been teaching second grade at Faith Christian for the last 19 years.
Miss Gorton has continued to demonstrate her concern for each student through individual prayer and instruction often offering to tutor students after school who need additional help in some area. She has always had a true desire to reach her children for Christ and help them grow in their faith as well as academically. She always maintained positive relationships with everyone, students, parents, and co-workers.
Miss Gorton has continued to be a dedicated professional, attending seminars and workshops for personal growth and bringing new ideas to the classroom and curriculum. Most recently she received training on incorporating STEM activities into the classroom, which she and her students thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from. She has always sought knowledge to understand and accommodate the individual needs of her students.
Hundreds of FCS students have been blessed to have Miss Gorton mentor them through their second grade year. Miss Gorton has left indelible Christlike impression on her students. Thank you, Miss Gorton, for your commitment to the profession of teaching and specifically your call to Christian School teaching through Faith Christian School. God’s best to you as you move on in retirement from teaching to your next ministry opportunity. Your Faith Christian Family loves and appreciates you!
As we honor and celebrate the teaching ministry of Daniel Wickline, we thank God for bringing him to Faith Christian School in 2002 to teach fifth grade. He taught fifth grade in the public school prior to coming to FCS. Following 15 years in fifth grade, he moved across the highway to the secondary campus to teach his favorite subject, History.
In preparation for his teaching career, it is no surprise to anyone, that he graduated from Florida State University, as the Seminole garnet and gold colors are often a staple of Mr. Wickline’s wardrobe. He also received his California Teaching Credential from Sacramento State University.
In all his years of teaching, Mr. Wickline brought history to life for his students. His students could not help but catch his enthusiasm and passion for knowing and understanding history. In his elementary class study of American History, a highlight of his colonial theme unit was to have a Colonial dress up day and feast for his students. He was never a bystander in presenting historical perspective and can be remembered fondly by all his students as he dressed up in an authentic Ben Franklin costume for the occasion. The students & even parents followed suit and came to school decked out in colonial attire.
Another passion of Mr. Wickline’s was astronomy, and he celebrated the uniqueness of God’s universe inviting students and parents to the school campus on nights when significant astronomical events were occurring to view the spectacles (eclipses and the like) through his high-powered telescopes. A gracious host, he always made sure on the cold winter nights to make sure hot chocolate rounded out the special gatherings.
Another treat for students in Mr. Wickline’s classes was the culmination of his unit on rockets as students brought their own rockets to school and out on the softball field, they launched their own models nearly into orbit, or at least far into the neighboring orchard or onto Calvary Christian Center’s gym roof.
Mr. Wickline introduced his students to the Exploratorium in San Francisco and an amazing part of God’s creation with field trips to the Shasta Caverns, which continues to be a highlight of the fifth grade curriculum for faculty who have followed in his footsteps.
Mr. Wickline is also very athletically minded and gave of himself in coaching, refereeing, umpiring, scorekeeping and as basketball clock timekeeper, among other roles throughout his 19-year tenure.
We are indebted to Mr. Wickline for sharing his passion for life and God’s role in “His Story” with his students. Your students have been greatly impacted by the fervor with which you have passed on to this current generation your passion for learning and acknowledging God’s hand in the process.
Thank you, Mr. Wickline, for your dedicated years of service to the students at Faith Christian School. As you move into retirement, may the Lord richly bless you…and the Seminoles!
FCHS Golf Returns Amidst Pandemic
I must say I was very surprised at how our golf season turned out. First of all, 9 neophyte golfers showed up to be on the team! Teams are comprised of 6 players at each match with the top 5 scores counting toward the competition. We won four of our six matches before the golf started because we had a full team! It's biblical; God is more interested in your availability than your ability.
We practiced at Plumas Lake Golf Course driving range and on the first day it was obvious that we had no experienced golfers, but a lot of enthusiasm. We worked on correcting our swings to get the ball airborne and down the fairway. The first time we play 9 holes, the standard in high school golf these days, the trees lining the fairway acted like bumpers keeping the ball in bounds. The score is kept by counting strokes up to a maximum of double par and then picking up for the next hole. Our goal was to be able to make it to the green so we could putt before picking up. Watching boys grow through failure was encouraging because of the positive attitudes and a desire to get better. We had an actual birdie on a par 3 on that first round!
Matches were held at Haggin Oaks in Sacramento and required an early dismissal at lunch. This allowed us time to stop by In-And-Out on the way; a true treat for everyone. At Haggin Oaks, we learned the etiquette of high school golf during a global pandemic: don't touch the flagsticks, always wear your masks, pick up from the un-maintained sand traps, be ready and play as soon as possible, don't shake hands, but be nice, and enjoy golf. Our first competition was a massive learning experience, but attitudes never waned, and progress was made.
We got smoked the first match by two golfers who shot mostly par. We aimed for avoiding the pick-up at double par. I was so impressed with our players who never got discouraged or frustrated, but just continued to try hard and get better. We played the same team in our sixth and final match and the coach said, "Wow. You guys have really improved!" And we really did. Students worked hard at practices and during qualifying rounds to always do their best. We had one incident where the qualifier would be determined on the last putt of the day. All the players were standing around the green as well as a few parents and I stopped the action to inform everyone what was at stake. He composed himself and sank the 5-foot putt to make the cut. The whole team cheered like he had won the Masters!
Some of the boys have expressed an interest in continuing to play, and that is the best reward I can ask for. It was a remarkable experience.