The Myhal Family
Beyond Bricks and Buildings
Pandemic confirmed Myhals sending their children to Worthington Christian was the right decision
As parents of three Worthington Christian students, David and Tera Myhal are excited that the dust from the school’s Forward Together building campaign has finally settled. The reformation of the school into a Lower School (Grades K-6) and Upper School (Grades 7-12) was completed for the start of the 2020-21 school year.
However, the Myhals, whose children Isaac (WC ’22), Andrew (WC ’24), and Tabitha (WC ’30), believe what makes Worthington Christian School a special place goes far beyond brick and mortar.
“I love the fact we’re going to have these new renovated buildings,” said David Myhal, who started the 316 Group and is the chairman of the schools’ Forward Together capital campaign committee. “However, it’s kind of like what they say about churches. It’s not about the building; it’s about the people inside it. At Worthington Christian, the top three priorities are teachers, teachers, and teachers.”
The Myhals saw that when the family first considered sending their children to WC. An off-hand conversation in the summer of 2015 helped the family discover Worthington Christian.
“I was at a swim team practice and another parent was telling me about enrolling in WC for middle school,” said Tera, a former public school teacher. “Later that week, Worthington Christian came up in conversation for a second time. We looked at the website as a family and Isaac said, ‘We should check it out.’ After praying about the decision and meeting with Jim Parrish, assistant head of school and lower school principal, and talking to a few staff members, my husband commented, ‘Why aren’t we sending our kids to this school?’”
The Myhal’s meeting with Parrish took place at The Mods, the notorious former wing of the middle school, which was not connected to the main building. The Mods were torn down in 2017.
“Despite The Mods being our first physical plant experience of being at Worthington Christian, we just felt like (sending our children here) was the right thing to do,” David said. “We’ve never regretted any of it. It was the smartest thing we’ve done for our kids. I can’t overstate it.”
The family has seen the fruits of that decision during the COVID-19 pandemic. David was impressed with how teachers like Kelly Burby handled the challenge. He said Burby maintained a close-knit feeling with her class even while being physically separated during the three-month stint of online learning.
“We saw the amount of time and attention Tabitha’s teacher put into her lesson planning,” David said. “There’s was an effort made not only to get the instruction and assignments out to the kids but also to still connect with the students relationally and to keep learning fresh and fun.
“It was incredible. Even during online learning, my kids were still getting a quality education and are getting individualized attention. My kids know their teachers care about them.”
During quarantine, those leading co-curricular activities found ways to stay in touch and keep students involved. Andrew plays football for the Warriors and his coach Jeff Hartings constantly reached out to offer players instruction on training and inspirational thoughts to keep them motivated. Isaac is involved with a singing quartet and director Karen Rugg-Klapheke arranged for the four to have one final performance for the school via video.
“The things that we really love about Worthington Christian didn’t go away during COVID-19 and online learning,” David said. “The teachers said we’re not going to throw away (the final quarter) because it’s too hard. We’re going to make it work and keep it safe at the same time. The kids are going to look back at this time and realize, ‘Hey it was different but it was still good.’”
“Coming from a public school background, I never quite realized the value of a Christian education until I started experiencing it as a parent,” Tera added. “I will never forget the sense of peace I had as school began (in 2015) and I knew that my kids would be learning in a place where the adults that they interact with daily treasure the same truths that we do.”