Steve Thayer – Teacher Education Alumni
If you know Steve Thayer, you know he has a passion for teaching. Steve’s love for Christ motivates him to find every chance to act as a godly example for the students and staff in his public high school. The time Steve spent at Maranatha impacted his life in numerous ways, and I was able to sit down with him and ask how his experience shaped his life. Read the interview below.
Tell us about your time at MBU.
I graduated in 2011 as a Math Education major. I played football for four years, I was a room leader, the dorm supervisor for Spurgeon, and I was our society president for a couple years. As members of “The Flood” – our dorm society at the time – we focused on community outreach in Watertown in connection with Calvary Baptist Church. I also was fortunate enough to be involved in Chamber Singers and to travel to Argentina and South Africa. I had an incredible four years of traveling the world, ministering around the United States, and playing the sport that I loved.
Walk us through your life since graduation.
I jumped right into my career after graduation. In January of 2011, I became an administrator at Faith Christian Academy in Plymouth, Wisconsin. However, I was fighting a battle within myself. Even though I was in full time Christian service at Faith, I wasn’t finding fulfillment because God was calling me to public education. I was later encouraged by a fellow Maranatha graduate to apply as a math teacher at the high school she taught at in Wautoma, Wisconsin. I have been teaching there for six years. About three years ago I began my master’s program in Educational Leadership through UW Oshkosh.
I have been actively seeking an administration role and God brought me the opportunity to land a new position at Lincoln in Wisconsin Rapids starting last fall. I’ll be one of three assistant principals for the school, so I won’t be “the guy,” but I’ll be able to share responsibilities and grow in my career.
My wife Emily and I have two boys, Landon who is four and Parker who is two. They keep us busy, but they’re a lot of fun.
What brought you to MBU as a freshman?
Honestly, it was football. I fancied myself a football player and seeing that our family rule included one required year at a Christian school, Maranatha was my top choice. It’s interesting to see how God used that desire in my life, even though it wasn’t in a proper order, to get me where He wanted me to go. God got a hold of my life after my freshman year and shifted my priorities. I knew I needed to stay at Maranatha. What got me there shouldn’t have, but it was the Lord who kept me there.
What do you appreciate most about your training at MBU?
I lean heavily on the biblical principles I learned at Maranatha to guide my life. We all need to realize that we can live our life with purpose when Christ is first in our hearts, no matter where we are or who we are surrounded by. Being challenged to live that out and be a godly example to the people around me was necessary and encouraging.
Do you have any advice for prospective or current students?
I would tell them to understand that whatever profession they’re going into, it isn’t just a vocation. It should be a calling of God. Yes, I wanted to be a teacher, but it wasn’t just an add-on to my life. It was a calling from God. So, whatever your passion is, pursue God, and He will give you that passion based on His will for your life. I think of Matthew 6:33, which shows that a pursuit of God causes everything to fall into place. He will take care of those details.
Which faculty members impacted your life?
Three stick out in my mind. Dr. David Handyside was a huge mentor of mine and the most influential person in my life at that time. We still communicate on a monthly basis, and I graduated eight years ago. Brian Trainor was one of the most amazing men of God I’ve ever met. Lastly was Mrs. Angela Morris. Her sweet heart and her loving spirit and desire to help is just top notch. I love Mrs. Morris and I always look forward to seeing her.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned from MBU?
How to live out my faith and make God a part of my mundane. He is not part of only the big decisions or between the mountain top and the valley, but He is God of everything in our lives. Why should I invite Him to the mountain top or the valley if He isn’t a part of everything in my life? The Christian life is an everyday process. A daily walk with God that impacts us continually.