Dawn Snellenberger interviewed Class of 2011 alumna Kristie Lojzim. Kristie currently resides in Billerica, MA, with her husband and fellow alumnus, Josh. She works in special education for Newton Public Schools.
Not many can say they have a direct connection to the beginning days of CCS, but Kristie can! Her grandparents, Neale and Gladie McLain, were instrumental in establishing Cornerstone in the early 1980s. Her grandfather, Neale, was pastoring the Manchester Church of the Nazarene at the time when he and his wife simultaneously felt God’s nudge to start the school. With much prayer and hard work, the doors of CCS opened in 1981!
With a rich heritage and commitment to Christian education, Kristie’s parents moved from Moodus to Manchester in 1997 so Kristie and her brother, Ian, could begin school. In those days, CCS did not have a preschool program, so Kristie attended half-days for the first year and spent full days in Kindergarten the following year. She says she is “forever grateful” to her parents for making the move!
For Kristie it is hard to pinpoint the most valuable thing about her experience at CCS, because it all seems equally precious. She appreciated the excellent education she received, but she believes her greatest treasures came from the extended family she found in teachers, mentors, and peers who walked alongside her. She recalls seeing examples of faithful people with God’s power at work in their lives, and this allowed her to experience God in a real, tangible way. By the time she was eighteen, she had heard and seen such evidence through the many examples of people who shone with God’s light! What a beautiful testimony!
After graduating high school in 2011, Kristie attended Eastern Nazarene College and majored in Early Childhood Education. She felt prepared for the academic, emotional and spiritual rigors of college. Academically, Kristie found that she was better prepared than many of her peers for the demands of school. She had learned how to study effectively, research and cite sources, and write papers of considerable length. She took honors classes in college and even was able to earn additional credits so she could double minor in Child Psychology and Child Advocacy, all while being on the Dean’s List each semester.
Spiritually, Kristie did not waver in her faith like many of her peers did. She found that she was able to stand in her convictions and was able to engage with her classmates who were struggling. It helped that she established a personal habit of Bible reading and prayer, and she was able to reach out for advice from some CCS teachers and friends. That really helped her!
In the years following graduation from ENC, Kristie has had a lot of excitement! She married her high school sweetheart, Josh. She also substituted in the Quincy, MA, public schools, taught second grade in Weymouth, MA, and nannied in Scotland while her husband was studying abroad. Kristie is now working with autistic students in the Newtown (MA) Public Schools.
We delight to hear how God has used CCS in the lives of our alumni! Thank you, Kristie, for letting your light shine!
If you are a graduate of CCS and would like to be interviewed in an upcoming publication, please contact Dawn Snellenberger at firstname.lastname@example.org.