Mrs. Cathy Parzych
I graduated from West Springfield High School in 1983. Immediately after high school, I attended Holyoke Community College where I began studying music. I graduated in 1985 with an associate degree in arts and science. In 1985, I began pursuing an undergraduate degree in elementary education at Westfield State College. After leaving school abruptly, I continued my elementary education studies at Fitchburg State, while I worked full time at a Christian conference center in Groton, MA. At this time, I was trained by the American Red Cross to teach CPR, first aid, and water safety courses. My marriage to a young military man carried me to various places where I worked for the American Red Cross, training military members in advanced First Aid and CPR.
I began teaching in 1999 at Holden Christian Academy where I taught physical education and Spanish to grades K-8. During this time, I trained with Dr. Pam Brady, founder of Coastlands Consultants, a ministry that encourages Christian school children to take their faith more seriously by using Spiritual Emphasis Weeks as a platform to speak and interact with them. I left HCA after finishing the school year in 2007. At that time, we moved to Tolland, MA, where I worked as a substitute teacher in the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District for five years. I also worked for two years as the office manager and high school Spanish teacher at Berkshire Christian School. When that school closed, I took a job in Agawam as a Special Education Paraprofessional for two years before coming to CCS.
Born and raised in West Springfield, I grew up in a family that, all but my father had turned away from the church and honoring God. I was shaped and influenced by whatever was out there in the world. In high school, by the grace of God, I was recognized by the local Young Life leader and drawn upon to play my guitar for them. It was there, at a Young Life meeting, that I heard the gospel for the first time. I was thirteen when I fell to my knees and pleaded with God to reveal himself to me. He did that in a very powerful way! Though I was a believer, there were so many ungodly influences in my life. In my senior year of college at Westfield State, I was involved in a very serious accident and came face to face with my mortality. It was at that point that I left everything including home, school, job, and primarily the ungodly influences in my life to pursue a life of obedience to God. Though this looked foolish to my family, I trusted God to be my all in all. He promised in the Word to provide all my needs in accordance with his riches in glory. The Scripture verses that became my daily bread were: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave his life for me.” and “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone and the new has come.” God has been faithfully working to mold me into His image ever since.
During my time in training as a Young Life leader and working in Coastlands Consultants, I developed a “relational ministry” ideology. Jesus began instructing his disciples by meeting them where they were at. He was not harsh with them, but He loved and nurtured the disciples and lived a life of obedience before them. This gave them a hunger and a thirst to learn. He taught them through everyday life examples to which they could relate. If I had to define my educational philosophy, this would be it.
Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave his life for me.”
2 Corinthians 5:17: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone and the new has come.”