Dr. Brain Kosa founded Heritage Christian School in 1984 with 70 students enrolled in K5-9th grade. Today, he serves as the Principal, and the school has grown to a student body of over 380 offering K4 through 12th grades.
After 42 years in Christian education on both the educator and administration side –– 37 of which were spent teaching with Abeka materials –– armed with a Bachelors of Science in physical education, a Masters in Education Administration, an Education Specialist degree, and a Doctorate in Religious Education, we wanted to know: What have been some of the challenges? The victories? The inspiration?
Dr. Kosa graciously shared a glimpse into his life devoted to being a Christian educator, and it all begins with physical education.
Q: What subjects or grades have you taught?
A: When I began Heritage Christian School, I taught a combined classroom of third and fourth grade students – teaching all subjects. I have taught Latin and also Algebra I. I’m a PE teacher by degree, but I love all aspects of working with young people. I still love coaching!
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome as an educator?
A: Challenges?? It’s all been fun! Where else can you influence so many young lives at one time as you can in education? I love the variety that a day brings forth! From the administration end the challenge is to be able to secure funds to pay Christian educators well. I have not overcome that one yet, but I am working on it. I have been privileged with a dedicated teaching staff that has remained faithful for many years.
Another tremendous challenge is the devil’s activity in life today. He is such a roaring lion – destroying people along the way. The challenge of helping people pick up the pieces after the devil has gotten a part of their lives – that is a challenge for sure. Each situation unique, each pain overwhelming. But as a Christian educator, that is what we are here to do, to help people cope with the hurts life brings and to gain direction for a better way.
Q: What are some of your greatest achievements?
A: The greatest achievements really are the graduates who leave us. We currently have alumni on various mission fields, serving as pastors, pastors wives, youth leaders, working in Christian education on the elementary, high school, and college levels. And, of course, faithful moms and dads! It is a joy to get letters, emails, and calls from alumni stating what they are doing and expressing appreciation for what we have invested in them. Of course, local alumni placing their children in our school is another huge blessing in life! Having alumni want to come back and be a teacher – that is an achievement!
Q: What do you love most about being an educator?
A: Opportunity. By that I mean the opportunity we have to make an impact on a life. Seeing people get saved never gets old. Seeing people dedicate their lives to the service of the Lord in one area or another is a thrill. Seeing grads who are business owners – operating their businesses with biblical principles and then encouraging their employees to do the same – that is a joy!
Q: What inspired you to become a teacher?
A: Believe it or not, when I was a junior in high school in a country location, a younger student, who I did not know at the time, said to me that he “dreamed of being like me.” I was stunned. I was nothing special, other than a sinner saved by grace. But that challenged me that people who I do not know are impacted by how I conduct my life. I really at that point began to think, “I need to purposefully make an impact on others.” And since I loved my high school teachers and probably had closer relationships with them than many a teen might have, they encouraged me to take the step in that direction. Upon graduating from college, I had the opportunity to substitute teach with them – implementing things they taught me and also learning that the rules had already changed in four years – where I could not do what they had done with me as a student! At that time I knew that I could make a greater difference in a school with a different philosophy of education, a Christian school!
Q: What have your students taught you?
A: WOW. So much! They taught me how to love, how to forgive, how to persevere, how to enjoy the moment, how to enjoy the day God has given, how to be an encouragement to others, how to minister to the less advantaged, to see needs and to meet those needs, the importance of a smile or a pat on the back. I’m a people watcher – so they are teaching me all day every day!
Q: If there is one thing you want your students to learn from you, what would it be?
A: Longevity. Stay serving the Lord as long as He gives you breath. We live in an ever-changing world, but that same world needs people who will not stray from the Lord and will serve Him with all that they have as long as we are alive. Overcome obstacles and just keep going!
Q: Do you have any advice to give fellow educators?
A: Don’t quit. God has given each individual a very special set of tools and skills that He wants us to use for His glory. All too often we hear we need to receive more pay for what we do. I cannot say I disagree with that in principle, but we must also remember that He promises to meet our every need. Remember He owns the cattle on a thousand hills – and He knows exactly where you are and what you need. Therefore we need to keep our “wanter” in control and only want His blessing on our lives.