Several years of visioning a Christian school in Pella in the early 1900’s led to the reality of opening PCGS on Jan. 6, 1913. The events leading to that exciting day and the century following will be celebrated this summer from July 6 to 8. The theme, “Founded on faith, growing by grace,” describes aptly the faithful efforts of those who have shaped the school to become what it is today.
As I neared retirement from Pella Christian Grade School in 2008 and sorted through years of educational collections, I remember advising our new Principal, Mr. David De Jong, of the necessity of organizing archival information for our upcoming 100th anniversary celebration. Soon that conversation led to a board request and my consent to serve as Chair of a History/Archives Committee, and eventually to accept the position of Chair of the One Hundredth Anniversary Steering Committee. It is because of that Co-chair position (now held jointly with Carroll Hoksbergen) that I have been asked to write this informational summary of Pella Christian’s exciting “Vision to Reality” history during the twenty-six years I served Pella Christian.
I began my teaching career at Peoria Christian School, a one year at Dordt College beginner who signed the teaching contract in August. Soon I was in a classroom of thirty-four 1st and 2nd graders. My teaching assignment there continued for 13 years and I would serve in multiple ways from K -2 classroom teaching to 7th and 8th grade creative writing, drama and directing musicals. Those experiences were preparing me for the future. I then became a stay at home Mom.
Talented and Gifted Program
During that time I was pursuing my Master’s degree at Drake University in order to become a certified administrator. My administrative internship was served at Pella Christian Grade School under Mr. Ivan Groothuis, Principal, as my mentor. There were eight broad areas such as Finances, Transportation, Food Service, and Research and Development to be explored. My assignment in Research and Development was to design a study to implement a Talented and Gifted program, the recommendation of a Christian Schools International recent evaluation of the School. Observing and being part of that process helped me to realize the innovative vision of Pella Christian Grade and its firm faith foundations.