Like Climbing a Ladder: Mission & Vision

As we begin another school year, Morning Star is renewing its commitment to our Mission and Vision. If you walk the halls or visit a classroom this year, you’ll see these two statements posted on the walls! Blog editor Anna Carrington sat down with Morning Star’s longest-serving Board Director, John Walters, to talk about why Mission and Vision are so important and how they come to life on our campus.

Before we get into the interview, here’s a review!

What is Morning Star Academy’s Mission?

Morning Star Academy’s Mission is to provide a classical Christian education that teaches truth, trains disciples, and equips students to transform their communities for God’s glory.

What is Morning Star Academy’s Vision?

The Vision of Morning Star Academy is to shape lives beyond a living to serve everywhere and lead anywhere.

Anna: Why is it important for us to have Mission and Vision statements?

John: The reason we have a Mission and Vision is so each one of the faculty, parents, and children at Morning Star understand “This is why we do what we do and this is why you’re learning what you’re learning.”

We can all fall into a routine: Feed our kids breakfast, drop them off at school, pick them up again and hope they learned something. Our kids are no different than we are … they ask: “Why?” We follow our Vision and Mission to consistently answer the question, “Why?”

Anna: How are Mission and Vision distinct from one another?

John: Consider the example of a ladder. If our Vision is to ‘get on the roof’, our Mission describes what we’re doing. We have to step on each rung as we get closer to where we’re going. 

As we consider the Vision, let’s keep a biblical understanding: Without a vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29). We’ve got to know where we’re going. Where are we aspiring to go? Such vision is a gift from God; it’s not something we can conjure up ourselves but something we have to pursue together, asking God for wisdom.

Anna: You have served on Morning Star’s Board of Directors for over a decade. What do you remember about crafting and/or confirming the Mission and Vision statements?

John: Both our Vision and Mission were honed in the last five years to really answer the question: What is our product when we talk about classical Christian education? What are the results we’re looking for in graduates that reflect the education they have received?

Our Board came together and specifically focused on praying and asking for God’s direction. As we honed the Mission and Vision, two emphases stood out: community and influence. We were asking questions like: how will Morning Star’s current students serve the Quad Cities collectively? And how will our graduates serve in their communities—wherever God leads them to live and work throughout their lives? Morning Star is equipping our students in some remarkable ways to influence others everywhere they go as they reflect Christ in a variety of vocations and places.

Anna: How do these actually “come to life” at the school? Can you think of an example of how Mission and Vision give clarity?

John: Our Mission and Vision are lived out every day through our school’s leadership. Mrs. Wingerd is doing a great job putting these out in front of the faculty, staff, and students. Board Directors need to be 100 percent behind these, as we are blessed with  the responsibility to lead, guide, and direct the school God has entrusted us with. There are classically trained teachers and those from other backgrounds; regardless, our phenomenal MSA staff believe in the direction we’re going, and they continue to learn and teach accordingly. Additionally, our Mission and Vision are informing our search for Morning Star’s next Headmaster!

Anna: You have seen all four of your sons graduate from Morning Star. What are you praying for as you consider Morning Star’s next 20 years?

John:  I continue to pray that Morning Star students and graduates—regardless of age, Kindergarten through married—reflect a Christlike worldview and they live it out through every opportunity God gives them. This means they talk to people the way they would want to be talked to; cry with those who are grieving; love others through a well-spoken, apt word.

Our Mission and Vision are meant to be lived out. Love your neighbor as yourself. One simple action or reaction makes a huge difference in somebody’s life … you may have no idea of your impact in that moment but it’s Christ in you (Colossians 1:27).

My wife Angie and I couldn’t be more proud of the men our sons are becoming and we have had the opportunity to see many of their classmates continue to grow as well. Morning Star is a part of that development. As parents, stick with it. I promise you, your kids’ hearts are worth it.

John Walters serves on Morning Star’s Board of Directors and his wife Angie teaches 5th grade. They are parents of four alumni!

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