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New Principal Announcement 2020

Introducing our 2020 Principal

The Board of Covenant Christian School is delighted to announce that Mrs Melissa Brown has accepted the Board’s offer to commence as school Principal in January 2020. Melissa brings many years of experience in Christian education. We look forward to you meeting her next year but take this opportunity to briefly introduce her to you. 

Christian commitment and character 

Melissa is a godly Christian with a mature and growing faith in Jesus Christ. She is a member of Orange Baptist Church where she has served as coordinator of the Bible study group ministry, women’s and youth activities over many years, and is currently a member of the organising team for the annual Christian luncheon attended by 350 guests.  Her husband Wes serves as an elder and they open their home for hospitality, Bible study and visitor retreats on their country property in Orange 

Although she has lived in Orange since 1984, Melissa is a local girl at heart.  She attended Narrabeen High School and became a Christian at the age of 15 through the ministry of St Faiths Anglican Church. At a youth event, Melissa came to understand that her sin can only be forgiven by God’s grace through faith in the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus. Melissa still has family living on the Northern Beaches so in one sense, we can say “welcome home”. 

Christian education and leadership skills 

Melissa is a passionate advocate and supporter of the philosophy and distinctives of Christian education. Since 2011, she has served as the Principal of Orange Christian School. From 1999-2010, she was the Head of the senior secondary school and spent the previous 7 years learning the ropes as a classroom teacher. From 2002, Melissa has served as an adjunct lecturer at the Institute which includes the training of students undertaking Masters qualifications. 

Additional academic qualifications include:

2001   Master of Educational Studies – National Institute of Christian Education
          Major: Education Leadership, Minor: Curriculum Development

1991   Bachelor of Arts – Macquarie University
          Major: Education, Minor: Physical Geography

Melissa has also delivered papers to develop leaders in Christian education including the topics of: 

  • “Christian curriculum” and “Parent Partnership” at the Christian Teachers New to CEN Conference and
  • “Compliance, policy and risk management in CEN schools” at the Equipped to Lead: Principal Training Program (CEN Hub course).

New Principal 2020 Melissa Brown

Covenant Christian School’s distinctives 

In her application Melissa wrote: “All that we do in Christian education … must all be shaped by Scripture. As Abraham Kuyper is famously quoted, "There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” Therefore, every area of policy, procedure and practice, should be developed in light of the teachings of Scripture and why we as Christians must commit ourselves to the regular study of God’s word.” We are confident Melissa will, under God, pursue the vision and mission of our school and carry on the legacy set by our current Principal Bill Rusin.

Melissa’s philosophy of Christian education makes her an excellent fit for our school.  She is passionate that:
Christian schools – “should be places of dynamic learning, where ideas can be explored and tested; each contributing idea can be assessed against the truth of the Scriptures.
A Christian community – “will foster attitudes of hope, joy and love of learning; where students are valued and supported in their learning by appropriately trained Christian staff.
Christian teachers – “will inspire, encourage and as needed, redirect students throughout their learning.
Partnership with parents – “the school community will be characterised by a culture encouraging parents and teachers to work together in supportive and collaborative partnership, marked by mutual respect and open communication.” 

Educational excellence 

Melissa is committed to encouraging and supporting teachers, staff and parents to deepen their knowledge and skills in Christian education. One of the key ways this is evident is her current enrolment in PhD studies at Alphacrucis College. Dr Julie Matthews (a previous parent, executive and Board member of Covie), is Melissa’s assistant supervisor. The focus of her thesis is the role of parent-teacher coaching in building parent partnership. “This research is built on the foundation of very strong research, showing that student academic, social and emotional outcomes improve, when there is greater parent engagement. Parent engagement, and indeed parent partnership, is one of the key distinctives of a CEN school. Exploring ways to enhance student learning, in this process, is certainly worth further educational research.” 

Principal 2020 Melissa Brown visits Covenant

Thankfulness and prayer 

We pray that you will join us in thanking God for his kind provision of Melissa to lead our school from 2020.  Please pray for Melissa, her family, Orange Christian school and her community who, like us at Covie, will finish the year tinged with a sad goodbye to a much loved Principal.  

God bless you in Christ 
Dean Stewart, Board Chair, on behalf of the Board