Ben Mellott has grown up knowing about Covenant High School, having attended Faith Presbyterian Church his entire life. While that might seem like an uneventful high school transition, Ben says that looking back “is kinda crazy” as he realizes how much he’s grown and been shaped by his experience at CHS: from the friends he has made to the critical thinking skills he’s learned, to approaching everything from a biblical worldview. “Not just in Bible, but English, history, math, science,” Ben said. “That’s something that has helped me to realize in an even fuller way that following Christ means every part of your life, not just the Sunday Christian, but every day of your life.”
Multiple classes and faculty have been catalysts for Ben’s growth. Senior year specifically, it was apologetics. In this Bible c lass, students analyze common objections to the faith, a class Ben says was beneficial to his own spiritual walk. “What was helpful was recognizing that, at the end of the day, these objections don’t come with easy answers and if they did, they wouldn’t exist,” said Ben. “While it can be used in evangelism, it can be helpful to witness to yourself.”
Mr. Hannula, history and math faculty, has also left an impact on Ben. Ben reflects that Mr. Hannula is enthusiastic in his teaching, shares funny stories, yet has a serious and practical approach to his classes and life in general, which Ben has found very helpful. Mr. Hannula has also helped him see how important it can be to be prompt, as he’s known for grading and returning tests quickly.
Similarly, Mr. Saldajeno, science faculty, has a reputation of being incredibly responsive and available for students. “He’s always willing to talk to you about almost anything, not just biology,” said Ben. “I’ve appreciated having some really good conversations with him about applying bio to faith, which I’ve found really helpful.”
Finally, Mrs. Tamminga, who has a lively way of teaching English class. “I’ve appreciated how she [teaches] and even with pieces of literature that are written from a non-Christian point of view and how she can tie the gospel and our faith into that.”
Outside of Covenant, Ben ran cross country and track for Curtis High School and went to State this year. He’s also been in orchestra for 7 years for violin and done private lessons for 11 years. Next year, Ben plans to attend Covenant College and pursue civil engineering on a full-tuition scholarship.
“Going into a new environment like I did four years ago, you never know what the Lord is going to bring your way, but you can count on Him to bring it to His glory and make you a better person,” Ben said. “It’s been a transformative experience in more ways than I can count and I’m very grateful for that.”