Monday, October 18, 2021

Liberty Christian welcomes veteran teacher as new Upper School Principal

Heather Lytle on the Square in Denton. (Photo Credit: Widyn Photography)

After 18 years at Liberty Christian School teaching biology and science labs and leading teachers as the Upper School Science Department Chair, Heather Lytle eagerly accepted the role of Upper School Principal, modeling the sense of responsibility and adventure she has taught her students for so many years.

At Liberty, where her own two sons graduated in 2012 and 2015, Mrs. Lytle shared that one of the best lessons she believes students learn at Liberty is to welcome and embrace challenges in school and in life.

As Upper School principal, Mrs. Lytle will encourage and inspire faculty who teach 9th–12th grade, helping to develop Liberty’s students into godly leaders and world changers, prepared for college and life beyond high school.

Filling the big shoes of former Upper School Principal David Martin, a 22-year staff member of Liberty, required someone with strong leadership skills, a vibrant walk with the Lord, a robust educational background, experience in partnering with parents, and a solid understanding of the Liberty Christian School culture of learning and love. Not surprisingly, God provided someone from within the Warrior family who embodied these characteristics and more.

“Heather Lytle is so highly regarded and respected by students, staff, parents, and alumni alike,” said Dr. Blair McCullough, Headmaster and Vice President of Academics. “Her high standard of excellence and passion to reach every student make an impact on everyone who meets her.”

Mrs. Lytle earned a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Arts in Biology, both from Texas Christian University. “Fear the Frog!” she declared laughing.

Prior to coming to Liberty, Lytle served as an adjunct professor instructing labs at the university level. She started teaching science laboratories at Liberty in 1999.

Mrs. Lytle said she enjoys watching students mature as they find their identity in Christ, and sharing the wonderful creative attributes of God through the lens of science.

“My goal as a science teacher was to empower students to know learning is a fun, lifetime endeavor,” she said. “It was also to reach not just the ‘science-minded’ kids, but to help all students see God’s hand in their lives.

“There is always something to be learned in science, and that may also be even about the students themselves.”

Mrs. Lytle said that this new role for her as principal provides a different chance to lead and challenge herself.

“I feel like the season is right,” she added.

As for her time at Liberty so far, Mrs. Lytle said her favorite time each year is traveling with students to Arkansas for the Wilderness Trip, a powerful spiritual retreat at Liberty held each May for the 8th grade class, which has become a rite of passage for Liberty students and a favorite memory of graduates. Mrs. Lytle has served on this trip for the past 15 years, which allowed her to know every student by name as they walked into her 9th grade lab class the following fall.

“The Wilderness Trip helped me connect with all of the students in the class and see them stretched spiritually and physically, especially on those rainy trips!” she joked.

Speaking of challenges and being stretched, Liberty’s thriving Solar Car program was born from Heather Lytle’s dream a decade ago.

She said, “I wasn’t sure where we would find the funding or the right teacher, but God provided with Dr. Brent Dragoo [Liberty’s STEM teacher and director of the Solar Car program] and several corporate sponsors along the way.

“What started as barely making it around one lap at the Texas Motor Speedway progressed to seven years later heading to Australia for the World Solar Car Challenge as one of three high school teams among universities and corporations from around the world.

“Our car looked like the Fred Flintstone car compared to the sleek and costly designs of the other entries, but Liberty’s team trekked more than 3,000 kilometers across Australia and made it over the finish line, while many others did not.”

For the future, Mrs. Lytle explained that her vision for Liberty would be to continue succeeding in what Liberty does and maintaining what Liberty is driven by – excellence for the Lord.

Her advice to students: “Don’t miss an opportunity. Liberty offers so much – try something new … a class, a team, try out for the musical … leave no stone unturned.”

And advice to Liberty parents from one who has been there: “Don’t hesitate to let your kids grow. Every time they try something difficult, they are changed for the better.”

Dr. McCullough added, “Dallas Theological Seminary professor Howard Hendricks is famous for his saying, ‘You cannot impart what you do not possess,’ but after challenging her students for many years, Mrs. Lytle certainly possesses the God-given ability to live out what she has imparted for so long.”

Mrs. Lytle’s goals are entwined in her favorite Bible verses, which are Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” and Micah 6:8: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Outside of Liberty, Mrs. Lytle enjoys spending time with her husband, Steve, sons Ben (Liberty graduate 2012) and Jack (Liberty graduate 2015), and Ben’s wife, Haley.

Originally from Oklahoma, Mrs. Lytle currently lives in Corinth and is a member of Denton Bible Church.

CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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