New Calvary Christian principal to put emphasis on math

The new high school principal at Calvary Christian School believes in a big emphasis on spiritual development, of growing each student's relationship with Jesus Christ.

He is also a big believer in math.

Randolph Prudent said he hopes that in a few years as much as 70 to 75 percent of the school's graduates going to college will major in one of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields.

"We want to prepare them to get into the finest engineering schools," he said.

Prudent got his bachelor's degree in physics and has spent much of his career as a high school math teacher.

"I took a lot of math in college because I knew that if you are good at math, you can always get a job," he said. "Math is involved in so many different kinds of businesses. It plays a role in all aspects of life. We have got to do a better job of showing that to students. A good knowledge of math and science is going to be even more important in the future."

He said math is not a lecture type of subject. He wants students to see how math is used in real life situations and let them discover solutions to problems.

He said students learn easier when they are not bored and teachers need to make math fun.

"I used to dance in class, joke around a bit," he said.

Prudent is also a big believer in the arts and thinks it is shameful that school districts make cuts in that area to save money.

"Some schools don't even have an arts program or have something for students just once a week. The arts open minds. The arts enhance creative thinking and that helps students in many areas."

The 44-year-old Prudent and his wife Anne-Elizabeth have three daughters and a son, ages 10-17, all of whom will attend Calvary Christian.

Before arriving here in June, the family was living in Warner Robins, Ga. Prudent was serving as principal at Central Fellowship Christian Academy in Macon, Ga, and also was associate pastor at Central Fellowship Baptist Church.

Prior to that, he taught math at high schools in Georgia counties, Paulding and Bibb.

For more than four years, he was senior pastor at Community Fellowship Christian Church in Dallas, Ga.

He has volunteered as a part-time hospital chaplain.

A native of Haiti, Prudent was raised in what he described as lower class conditions.

"We didn't have much, but I was happy," he said. "I knew that education was the key to having more. Education is the great equalizer."

His father left the family for the United States in 1970 when Prudent was a baby, Prudent said his father fled Haiti because he feared for his life. He said his father did nothing wrong to be in danger.

"All it took was someone in power to not like you," Prudent said.

Prudent kept in contact with his father, exchanging messages on cassette tapes, but did not meet his father until he was 15 and had moved to Brooklyn, N.Y.

"It was kind of surreal," he said, recalling the reunion.

Both of his parents are now certified nursing assistants in Massachusetts.

Prudent got his degree at the City College of New York which is under the umbrella of the City University of New York.

Since then, he has earned a master's in human services/family and marriage from Liberty University and a master's in theology and ministry from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.

He said he had always been a person of faith but after college it began to play a bigger role.

"It was in 1996 that I was saved," he said.

When it comes to the need for a good education, Prudent feels too many children see being a sports star or singer as being successful and they have no "Plan B" for when that dream does not become reality.

He said teachers should hang their degrees on the wall where they work just like doctors and lawyers.

"Let kids know that being a teacher is being a success."