This year at Baymonte Christian School we are highlighting alumni – past students who’ve attended Baymonte, many preschool through eighth grade! Today we are highlighting Jonathan Casas. Here’s what he had to say about his time at Baymonte:
“Baymonte is a place of Kingdom work. It is a safe place to easily cultivate life-long friendships and gain a better understanding of who you are in Christ. I have fond memories at Baymonte; it has a special place in my heart, as I’m sure it does for my other classmates. The teachers had a special sensitivity towards the students. How else could they endure the trying times we students gave them? Sometimes growing up can be such a challenging thing to do.
I liked that the teachers were more than one-dimensional. They were positive and encouraging. If you had problems, you could go to any single one of them and they would have sage advice. They were teachers full of wisdom and guidance. They were solid in their theology. They made everyone feel comfortable and wanted.
The chapels were inspiring. The messages were relatable. I enjoyed how the presenters spoke into our lives in a Godly way. I remember looking at the students on either side of me and recognizing who was taking the information to heart and who wasn’t. I remember feeling glad that there was someone up there who was trying to connect with us. It made me feel thankful and cared for.
Baymonte was transformational. It was there that I learned not only about God, but also who I was in Him, and how to serve Him. It set me up for a life of service in the church.
I liked the snack shack on campus too! The campus was warm. I think what sets Baymonte apart from other schools is its warmth. The school is family-oriented and Godly. Baymonte is a bright light to its surrounding communities.
My friends at Baymonte were very close; I considered them family. Every recess or lunch there was always someone to hang out with, laugh with and enjoy life with. Not just the simple chuckle, but the hard, side-splitting laughter that took an entire period after lunch to get over. When I attended, we had very small, combined high school and junior high classes. We had the benefit of becoming very close with people that were older and younger. It provided countless opportunities to receive wisdom and give it as well. I believe everyone enjoyed and benefitted by this. Even if someone only attended for a year or two, they felt loved and connected.
One of my favorite things to do was play dodge ball for P.E. There was something special about doing your best to be the last person on your side of the court. It was a blast! It often took a while to cool down, stop sweating and start to focus afterwards. It was so much fun that we didn’t want it to end. Then, when we finally got to class, I remember thinking that “life didn’t get any better than this….”
I remember learning that I could hit the ball pretty well in baseball. I remember it being a total surprise to me. I enjoyed beating my teachers in tetherball when I was in elementary school. It was something that I prided myself in. I remember a time during elementary school when we had a stomper racing competition. We had a day to prepare, and my father got wind of it. He helped me devise a winning strategy, when everybody had AA batteries in their stomper, I had a 9-volt battery! All the kids screamed and were awed when my stomper took off twice as fast as any other. It was a good day.
In fourth grade I was shocked to learn from a friend that my music teacher thought I had potential in music. I thought, “Why would he think that?” When I asked him about it, he explained that God had giving me a gift I hadn’t known about. In my stubbornness, I still didn’t believe, but I found out later that he was correct. Thank God for perceptive teachers.
Another highlight occurred when I was in 6th grade. Somehow just before an all-school event we got word that the person who was supposed to be Smokey the Bear had cancelled. Somehow, I was asked to step in and wear the costume. I spent hours walking around Baymonte handing out candy, being nice to everyone and getting hugs from all the little ones. It was impactful for me because that might have been one of my first real acts of service. I was saddened when the event ended, and I had to take the suit off.
I also remember saving my best friend from a snake on the field. It was just a little garter snake. All I did was pull him off course before he stepped on it, but to a grade schooler, it was a big deal. We became even better friends after that. There are so many memories that I have of Baymonte that I could probably write a book. I am 46 and I remember it like it was yesterday.
Baymonte sets up the Biblical narrative as a priority for its students. I have had the opportunity to read some of the previous blog postings from other alumni and I agree with everyone regarding the teachers being exceptional examples. If I could add anything it would be that I am truly thankful. It’s the one word that comes to mind when I think of my time spent there. It’s the one word that best describes my preparation and progression into adulthood. Thankful. Looking back, I can see very clearly how Baymonte directly affected my upbringing in the positive. The most important thing I learned there was that God was real. Learning about Him and being able to ask important questions, helped me see Him more. As troubled times came, as they often do in younger years, I found that a foundation had been laid for me. I was able to have better footing when the hard times came. It is a foundation I am still standing on today. So, I am extremely thankful. It has also been an example to my children. Since Baymonte showed me how to stand firm, I now have the incredible privilege to help my kids stand firm on the same foundation. The blessings seem to keep coming because I attended. This educational foundation has turned out to be invaluable to both me and my family.
My older brother and sister, both 10 years my senior, also attended Baymonte. I can see the same foundation in them as well. As far as ministry is concerned, it’s fantastic to think how many people Baymonte has helped lay a foundation for. Baymonte exists to be a multigenerational force for good in a world that desperately needs a Kingdom mindset. Our world is better because of the blessing of Baymonte, its staff and its students.”
Thank you for sharing Jonathan!