Mansfield Christian administrators

From left to right are Director of Academic Success and Strategy Mandy Wushinske, Elementary Principal Paige Them and Independent Studies Director Julie Hupp.

MANSFIELD -- Mansfield Christian School will have a new elementary principal and new independent studies program director next school year. 

Paige Them, Director of Independent Studies, will assume the role of elementary principal for the 2021-22 school year. Them, a 1995 graduate of Mansfield Christian, said she was humbled by the opportunity.

"Our growing enrollment is an indicator that parents are concerned about their children’s education and value spiritual growth," she said. "Partnering with these families and the local church to educate and teach Christ is exciting.

"I want parents to know my whole heart is invested in the growth and development of their children."

Them began teaching at Mansfield Christian in 2017 and has led the independent study program for the last three years. She and her husband Matt have five children attending Mansfield Christian.

Julie Hupp, a former science teacher and coordinator in the independent studies program, will step into Them's shoes as the new independent studies director. Hupp is pursuing a master's degree in elementary education and is married to Pastor Andy Hupp of Impact Church. Their three children have all been enrolled in the independent studies program.

“Julie has proven to be an excellent instructor within our Independent Studies program, and she demonstrates both the desire and the capacity to lead well within our organization,” said Superintendent Cy Smith. “As a parent and teacher, she understands the unique needs and wants of our home-school families and will serve to represent them well within our leadership team.”

Smith and the school board also created a new administrator position for the 2021-22 school year focused on academic excellence.

Elementary Principal Mandy Wushinske was selected to be the school's first director of academic success and strategy.

"During my first year, most of my role will be focused on continuing to provide relevant and high-quality academic programs from a Biblical worldview, as well as developing and launching educational initiatives that are consistent with the school’s mission and continuous school improvement plan," Wushinske said.

Smith said the position will be an important bridge between the school's elementary and secondary programs.

"The creation of the new position was motivated by our desire to take academics to another level of excellence," Smith said. 

Similar to the position of university provost, Wushinske will work to ensures that the vision, mission, core values, expected student outcomes, and strategic plan of the school are integrated into all academic and policy areas to provide consistency and cohesiveness to the operations across all levels K-12. 

Wushinske's duties will include supervising the development of curriculum, student performance data analysis, professional development, intervention services, and lead or assist with any other aspect of instructional improvement as designated by the superintendent.

"During her tenure as principal, the elementary school made significant strides academically and her understanding of curriculum and assessment played an important role in our success," Smith said. "She is an extremely talented administrator, and her insights regarding school improvement measures are spot-on."

Wushinske said she's looking forward to working with students in a wider age range than ever before.

"I'm most excited about expanding my work to serve staff and students in our secondary school," she said. "The majority of my experience in education has been in elementary or middle schools, so I'm looking forward to the challenge of learning something new."

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Staff reporter focused on education and features. Clear Fork alumna. Always looking for a chance to practice my Spanish. You can reach me at katie.ellington@richlandsource.com