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From CCS Student, to Parent, to Board Member

February 18, 2016
By Kristy Bingham, Chronicle writer

Cascade Christian Schools’ Board of Directors has added CCS alumnus Tyler McClung (class of 2001) as their newest board member.

With the enrollment of Tyler and wife Nicole's daughter in Kindergarten at the McAlder Campus, he has recently reconnected with the Cougar community.

"I was excited to see Superintendent Don Johnson at the orientation for students at the McAlder campus, and we had a conversation about how exciting it was to see so many children of CCS alumni at the campus, and sending their kids to Cascade Christian," he said. "From there, that led to a few other conversations about alumni involvement. Then in early December, I received an email inviting me to lunch with Don and the Board Chair Tom Walrath. At that point they shared with me some transitions taking place on the board. "

McClung said he had not thought about specifically joining the Board, but was open to the Lord's leading of how he and his family could develop stronger relationships and become more connected with what he considered his "Cascade family."

Looking ahead, McClung said he is embracing the opportunity to serve in a deeper capacity. "I think Cascade Christian Schools has been blessed with some amazing board members over the years who I have gotten to know personally," he said. "Greg Sutherland, Tom Absher, and Randy Johnson are parents of some of my close friends. My dad was also a board member for a little over nine years, and I know that their servant leadership provided students like me opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise had."

"Their direction helped acquire land, build the building and then finish the Performing Arts Center 15+ years ago," he continued. "The Board has, of course, transitioned and there is a new team in place since I was a student, but I am sure that it is filled with quality Christ-loving individuals like those who have served in the past.  I am excited to learn from them first, and then be able to bring my perspective as a former student - and now parent of a current student - to the team."

With a board whose members have a wide variety of experiences and backgrounds, McClung said he sees one of his strengths fitting in nicely. Upon graduation from Cascade Christian, he attended the U.S. Air Force Academy, and said his time there proved to be invaluable.

"I learned there that there are times to speak up and there are times to listen and follow orders," he reflected. "I perceive that now as a huge strength for me.  I have been put in situations where I have been both a leader and a follower at the same time, and as a board member I think that is exactly what my role will be.”

He continued, “My current job is one of leading a team and making important business decisions that are both near and long term. The Board has many of those decisions that they deal with on a regular basis, and so with my background I will look to use the experiences that I have garnered."

"I think bringing a background of a former student will have a great impact in decisions since I was once in a student’s place," he said. "While I am the only at-large board member with an alumnus perspective, I look forward to working with Jodi (Gerald) Cameron, a fellow ’01 alumna, as she serves in her capacity as a board member."

He said he was blessed by his family that sent him to Cascade Christian, and by leaders that made his time at CCS second to none. "That is the same thing that I want for my kids, and that I hope to provide for current and future students," he explained.

McClung said he and his wife have been happy to have daughter Natalie enrolled at Cascade Christian.

"It has been amazing to see the wonderful Christ-inspired instruction she gets on a daily basis," he said. "It is also impressive to see what kind of support the parents of her classmates give the school and her class. Parental involvement in a student’s education is vital, and Cascade Christian parents do an amazing job supporting their children’s learning environment." 

"My moment of 'being back' was when I attended an event prior to a Cascade Christian football game held at Dillanos Coffee Roasters," he said. "I told Nicole it felt like being back home with all the people that I knew or had connections with in that room.  That was the moment I knew our kids were going to be supported in the same environment that I had growing up. Ultimately, it gave me a sense of peace that we made the right decision in coming back to Cascade Christian."