The school was emerging from several years of economic downturn, staff and parent conflict, and some moral issues. Enrollment had taken a hit, from over 260 at one point to 186 on the roll for the beginning of the 2010-11 school year, and the re-enrollment of eligible students was under 80%. There were eight vacant staff positions which occurred over the summer, seven of which still needed to be filled, and the office staff was one person short, with two new employees who had worked less than a month. The initial year of preparation for the upcoming re-accreditation visit was on the doorstep. It might have been easy to just say "no," but God said "yes," and that's always enough.
God gets the glory for all that has happened here. It has been a privilege for me to have been called to serve at Portersville Christian School as head of school through its recovery and restoration from some rough years in its history, and to be its leader as it achieved new heights in its accomplishment and service to its constituency. The Portersville Christian School that exists today is one that has an optimistic outlook on the future.
The key to what has occurred at PCS has been putting together a team of teachers and staff members who share a common vision for the mission and purpose of a Christian school, and are committed to those principles. While some might see eight vacant staff positions as a problem, for us it was an opportunity. Rather than seeing a job here as something for which one is "hired," the Biblical approach to ministry, in which individuals are given spiritual gifts to serve, and are called by God to their position, was used to develop a team of staff and teachers who worked together to accomplish the school's vision for Christian education.
Many of those who came the first year I did are still here, while others have been called elsewhere, but those who have come since all share the same commitment to Christian school, and the success we have achieved is due to their being free to exercise their gifts, and use the talents God gave them in a way that is unique to them, and beneficial to the students. Over time, I have been given the privilege of having brought most of the current staff on board, and it has been a real blessing to have walked beside you and support you as you worked each day. The staff conflict, which had been so crippling to the effectiveness of the school, has evaporated.
It is a blessing to celebrate some of the milestones PCS has passed during the past eight years.
- Enrollment has recovered by more than 20%, and the re-enrollment percentage of eligible students, which is the most tangible measurement of parent satisfaction for a Christian school, has exceeded 95% for each of the past six years.
- The number of new student applications has doubled since 2010. The school has engaged in a program called "Try Christian Schools" with WORD-FM for the past four years that has provided thousands of dollars in advertising on the radio, and is responsible for getting word out about PCS to the community.
- Eight students have been recognized as either commended scholars, National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists, or finalists since 2010, among the top 1% of the nation's high school students. This is more than at any other time in the school's history.
- The class average SAT scores at PCS have shown an upward trend since 2010. The class of 2012 set a new record, as did the classes of 2014 and 2015. The class of 2019 has an opportunity to become the highest achievers in school history.
- The school established a resource education program. In 2010, there were 9 students involved in resource-based education, mostly using personnel from the IU. In 2018, there are over 50 students involved, and the availability of resource instruction has been a major contributor to school growth, retention of students, and stability.
- PCS has been innovative in expanding academic offerings for students, with a limited scope of resources and facilities. We have extended the ability of students to earn dual credit that will directly transfer to colleges and universities. Through a partnership with the Canyon Christian School Consortium of Grand Canyon University, in combination with on-campus courses from Butler County Community College, PCS can offer students the opportunity to complete their freshman year of college prior to graduating from high school.
- At the initiation of the administrator, a development committee was activated in 2011, and trained by a consultant from GraceWorks. The Warrior Legacy Fund was established for the purpose of supplementing the school's financial aid and scholarship program.
- The number of students involved in extra-curricular activities has increased with the addition of competitive archery to the athletic department five years ago. The athletic program has improved and grown with full administrative support. Portersville Christian School has become the top athletic program in the SWCAC league, which is an achievement among colleagues in an equitable partnership.
- The fine arts department has reached a pinnacle in performances of dramas, plays and musicals. A stage was added to the gym three summers ago, making the facility one of the nicest and most practical multi-purpose buildings on a Christian school campus in the entire region. The school has produced some excellent musical productions, including some recent Mancini award nominees and winners.
- The school successfully completed a re-accreditation process in 2014, being commended for the Christian atmosphere that the visiting team observed as permeating the campus and all of its activities, and for its academic excellence. It is this accomplishment, particularly earning the accolades of colleagues for our spiritual atmosphere and academic achievement, of which I am most proud in which to have been involved.
I love this school, and committed myself to take responsibility for its leadership and serve its constituency. I believe I have fulfilled my mission and purpose here, and the goals which were put in place when I arrived have been accomplished. I pray God's blessings on the school and its ministry, along with his hand of protection. There are new goals to be set, and new achievements to be accomplished.