Since 2001, Shelli Brown Kratzer has served at Oakdale with her husband, Dave, first as director of development and now as principal. As the 2011 Greenville College Young Alumnus of the Year, Principal Kratzer focuses her gifts, abilities, and learned skills on the work of leading teenagers to lives of learning, serving others, and loving God. Click on the image to view Shelli’s video introductions.

Shelli Brown Kratzer Video

Friday we inducted eight students into the Oakdale Christian Academy chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS). The NHS is a service organization that has chapters across the United States.  It is highly recognized for the academic standard of its members.

Though I am proud that each of the eight students who joined the NHS today has a 3.2 grade point average (or above) on a 4.0 scale, that is not what most filled my mind and heart as I presented these awards.  What most gripped me were the three additional tenants that join “scholarship” to make-up the pillars of the NHS – leadership, service and character. I was struck with how closely these tenants align with the mission of Oakdale: “… leading teenagers to lives of learning, serving others and loving God.”

Even more, I was struck with what a perfect example of each of these four tenants we have in our Lord Jesus Christ. By his life, Jesus showed us how to excel in each of these areas. He then commands us to do the same – to learn, to serve, to lead (as we are so gifted) and to be people of holy living.

It was exciting to challenge these eight students (and all of our students) to uphold the values of the NHS. It was a blessing to remind them that as they do this, they are helping to fulfill the mission of Oakdale. Most of all, it was a privilege to challenge them again to be like Jesus. How simple complicated things become when we look to Christ for our example. He is our perfect model of scholarship, leadership, service and character. As we get to know Jesus, we get to know each of these. What a blessing it is to work in an environment where calling students to Christ-like living can be a part of educating them.  This is truly exciting!

Twelve years ago, my husband Dave and I and our (then) two children moved to Oakdale to serve. We came because we felt called to give our lives to full-time service, and we had fallen in love with the holistic ministry Oakdale offered. We were passionate about the opportunity Oakdale offered to any student ready to embrace it. A decade (and two more children) later, we are even more excited about this place we have come to call our home.