Man on a Mission
Amy Bode

Meet PS-8th grade principal Mr. Justin Horne. He’s been at Timothy for three years.  We sat down with him to talk about Timothy’s mission and how he connects with students. 

How do you live out Timothy’s mission of upholding Biblical truth, igniting academic growth, and inspiring courageous leaders day in and day out?
Well, it starts with having a phenomenal teaching staff who don’t see teaching as just a job. They are on a mission. They love their students and they pray for their students. We also see every student as an individual and we want them to live up to their full God-given potential. That’s where MTSS, or multi-tiered system of support, really comes into play. 

How does MTSS work?
For 180 minutes a week, every student receives small-group instruction and individualized attention. This takes place in addition to normal classroom teaching. It doesn’t matter where a student falls, whether they need additional help, are advanced, or just right where they are supposed to be, every student receives one-on-one attention and can really work through a concept.

You used to teach fourth and then fifth grade at The Lane School in Hinsdale. Do you miss classroom interactions?
I miss it a lot. But I’m always looking for opportunities to get back in the classroom. I always ask the teachers if I can sub, read to the class, or even come and play the guitar for students. 

Preschool through 8th grade is a really wide age range. How do you connect with the students?
This year I’ve continued leading the middle school praise band, 7th and then 8th grade boys’ Bible studies, and I often have lunch with small groups of students to get their input on how we can improve our school. 

I started “Birthday Lunch with the Principal.” Every month, I celebrate the kids who have birthdays during the month. They get to eat lunch while I read a special story and then play the guitar. It’s been a special way to get kids in a small group and connect with them one-on-one. I pray they feel loved, cared for, and celebrated. I also play the guitar in chapel. 

What is chapel at Timothy like?
It is my favorite time of the week. There is nothing better than hearing elementary school students sing and worship together or to see middle schoolers make a connection with one of the speakers. Everything we do is age appropriate, so each chapel has a just-right message. We also sing many, many songs that incorporate movement and they don’t hold back! It’s this beautiful time of kids praising and worshiping their heavenly father— without any preconceived notion that you shouldn’t clap and jump for joy. 

We have the best team of teachers at Timothy. Not only are they experts in their field, but they continually learn best practices. They love their students and are all in with Timothy’s mission, vision, and values. Teaching isn’t just a job, it’s a mission.

What are chapel buddies?
We pair our younger students with the older ones. So, for example, a sixth grader would be paired with a kindergarten chapel buddy. I love this program because it does two things: First it gives our older students leadership training. They take this very seriously. And secondly, it not only helps our younger students learn how to behave in chapel, but gives them an older buddy to look up to. It’s really just one more way that Timothy is relationship-focused. 

We are seeing a record number of applications. What do you think is driving that?
I hear over and over again that parents from public schools feel really uncomfortable with what the public schools are teaching. It really does matter who your child spends every day with. What values are they being taught? There’s an overwhelming desire to get back to traditional values and a Biblically-rooted approach to education. 

What is the parents’ role at Timothy?
At Timothy we really believe that there’s no better team than the home, the church, and the Christian school. So we really encourage our parents to get involved, pray for our teachers and students, and we want them to feel like they are part of the Timothy community. 

What’s one thing that Timothy does really, really well?
Oh boy. Just one thing? We hire the very best teachers. I hear over and over again how much parents love our teachers. Bar none, we have the best team of teachers at Timothy. Not only are they experts in their field, they are continually learning best practices. They love their students and are all in with Timothy’s mission, vision, and values. Teaching isn’t just a job, it’s a mission.

How so?
There is nothing more powerful than sitting in a room with teachers and praying for individual students. Our teachers also pray for and support each other. We are truly a team here. When you have an exceptional team, supportive parents, and do everything for the glory of God — well, there’s nothing you can’t do! 

  • academics