By Molly Kamstra | Senior, Christian International School of Prague
(This article was written by a journalism student and first appeared in Knightly Knews, the CISP school blog.)
Meet Christian International School of Prague’s newest staff addition! From a climbing gym to an elementary classroom, Catherine Chaney is shifting gears to an entirely different endeavor. Miss Chaney relocated from Atlanta, Ga., mid-February of this year. She works as a teacher’s aide in the first and second grade class.
Miss Chaney has a special place in her heart for Prague as she studied here with North Carolina State University in 2014. Naturally, she fell in love with the culturally rich city and could not resist the fascinating opportunity to venture back.
Principal Charlene Preg is a friend of her family and Mrs. Kate Parker, the academic administrator, was one of her teachers in middle school. Miss Preg’s son gave Miss Chaney the idea of going to Prague.
The road to Prague was not all that simple. Miss Chaney scaled many metaphorical mountains to make her idealistic dream into a plan with strategic steps.
The first step, and arguably the most difficult step for many teachers, is raising support. Miss Chaney was no different. This was her first attempt at raising funds and it prompted her to trust the Lord like never before.
“Initially, I was terrified. When I was preparing, I was still terrified,” she said.
Teachers and staff employed at CISP. raise their own funding so that tuition costs can be affordable for missionaries. International School of Prague‘s average tuition rate for high school students this school year is 568,000 Kč. ($27,400 U.S.) In contrast, the average for a CISP high school student in the same academic year is 173,000 Kč ($8,300 U.S.).
Miss Chaney successfully conquered this challenge with devoted support from family, friends. Her home church is the crux of her prayer and financial support. With the support need satisfied, Miss Chaney now prepared to transition into a slightly familiar, but still new, culture.
Miss Abbey Flaherty assisted in making Miss Chaney’s transfer as smooth as possible. As CISP’s Human Resources Manager, Miss Flaherty is in constant communication with recruited staff and teachers, answering any questions they have and ensuring each has their needs met upon the journey over. Essentially, Miss Flaherty oversees the overseas relocations.
Soon after she arrived, Miss Chaney jumped right into the wide-eyed world of loose teeth, recess, and scheduled snack time, also known as the first and second grade. The daily elementary episodes she comes home with are heartwarming and hilarious. The students adore her, just as she adores them.
“I have no desire to run a classroom, but I love being ‘behind the scenes’ and building relationships with the kids,” said Miss Chaney.
If you are in search of a climbing, cooking, exploring, pun using (unfortunate, I know) gal pal, Miss Catherine Chaney is sticking around for a while. Buy her coffee, chat her up with some fashion and textile lingo, find a large rock to climb and congratulations, you are on the road to friendship.