Shekinah Christian hires new school administrator

Brice Kauffman
Brice Kauffman

(Posted Jan. 28, 2015)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Brice Kauffman, the new administrator at Shekinah Christian School, comes to Plain City by way of Illinois and Florida.

Kauffman grew up in Arthur, a small town in east central Illinois. Like Plain City, Arthur is home to many Mennonites and Amish.

Kauffman started his career as a show producer and broadcaster for a Christian radio station in Champagne, Ill. While he liked being part of the award-winning program, he realized his calling was elsewhere.

“I wanted to be with people, not just talk to them,” he said.

He worked as a substitute teacher at his alma mater and, at a very young age, was named the school’s principal. He served in that capacity for two years before leaving to further his education.

In 2008, Kauffman earned an associate degree in speech communication. He then followed up with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on education and psychology. He recently completed a masters in business administration.

During that time frame, he moved to Florida where, while pursuing his degrees, he worked at a couple of different schools. At one, he served as dean of discipline, worked in the guidance depart-ment and coached basketball. At the other, he was assistant to the athletic director and taught history and Bible studies.

Most recently, Kauffman worked as a consultant with a Christian education organization. As such, he visited schools all over southern Florida.

Kauffman sees his varied work experience as helpful in his new role as Shekinah’s administrator.

“I have seen different ways of doing Christian education. I feel all of these experiences contribute to having a better idea of possibilities,” he said.

Kauffman’s goals at Shekinah include developing a strategic plan that drives how the school prioritizes staffing and finances. He also wants to expand course offerings, especially electives.

“I want to ensure we have a vibrant, strong spiritual emphasis in more ways than just a chapel service once a week,” he continued, noting that students who attend Shekinah come from a wide variety of church backgrounds.

Through communication, Kauffman also wants to make sure the public has an accurate perception of what Shekinah is all about.

“We’re for people looking for a Biblical, Christian education with quality programs,” he said.

The focus is excellence in academics and Christian character training, he added. Shekinah’s current enrollment is 131 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Last year, the school transitioned from a curriculum focused on individualized learning to traditional-style classrooms at in the junior high and high school.

“Shekinah is the first school I’ve been at where there is a really solid foundation. I’m thankful for the committed staff and the committed parents here,” Kauffman said.

He likes the sense of community in Plain City, as well as the feeling of family at Shekinah.

Kauffman succeeds Joe Batchelor, who served as Shekinah’s interim administrator for 18 months after Arnold Shetler stepped down. Shetler has been on staff at Shekinah for 33 years, 28 as administrator. He continues to teach at the school.

“I believe the strong foundation here, Arnold had a lot to do with that,” Kauffman said. “It’s also because there are so many people contributing to this school. All of them doing their part has built the foundation.”

Kauffman’s first day at Shekinah was Feb. 12.

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