Assisting Other Schools
Other Christian schools became interested and asked for our help. Christian Schools International, the impetus for all of our visions, commissioned me to write a book, “Gifted Children in Christian Schools,” which was placed in all Christian schools in the United States and Canada. That project was completed in 1988. Dan Netz became the principal during that year. Christian Schools International had a consulting program in place for schools to serve other schools, so Pella Christian’s program could be shared readily. The vision to bless and share with other Christian schools became a reality. As a result, Pella Christian developed a program/policy, permitting staff members to assist other schools. During that era I traveled as PCGS’s representative to schools in Iowa, the Chicago area, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and New Jersey to assist in gifted programming in Christian schools.
Pella Christian’s consulting policy which released staff members to assist other schools also permitted me to become the Administrator for a sister school, Newton Christian School for a number of years. Sharing the vision of Christian education as I knew it at Pella Christian became a reality and a blessing to this small newer school. Other teachers would also assist and speak at other schools, sharing the realities of many of PCGS visions. I continued to direct and teach TAG classes, experiencing so many talented students, Knowledge Bowl competitions, independent projects, and Geography Bees. A delightful experience was accompanying the first girl ever to win the Iowa State Geography Bee contest, Amy Nugteren, TAG student of Pella Christian Grade, to the national contest in Washington D.C. A vision to participate in local and state competitions became an exciting reality as we participated at a national level.
Administrative tasks of the school grew. The state of Iowa had new and additional requirements for reporting. It was during the 90-91 school year that the Board decided that the position of Curriculum Director should be initiated, creating an administrative team to cover growing administrative tasks. My administrative qualifications and training in Curriculum Instruction equipped me for the task and Dan Netz and I became the Administrative Team in that year. We shared a vision of making that Team promote excellent Christian education for Christ’s sake. Many of my responsibilities related to State reporting, curriculum issues, and special needs of students.
Heartland AEA provided a Curriculum Network monthly and Pella Christian Grade became an active part of that. Many opportunities arose to fulfill the vision of sharing Christian education in a broader world as excellent for Christ’s sake. We attended Curriculum Network, which included administrators from numerous schools. We shared our innovative language arts program, “Club LA,” at those meetings. Meanwhile, our Principal, Dan Netz, became a leader at the state level at the Iowa Association of Christian Schools. The Curriculum Director position became one that was shared among area Christian schools since many were asking for our help and this would offer them a service they did not have. Our vision for sharing quality Christian education became a reality in very concrete ways.
Part of the Curriculum Director task was assisting to plan summer workshop for teachers. Though this effort had been sponsored for many years by the gracious donations of the Vermeer Foundation, during this era we were able to make connections with Drake University and our AEA and offer classes for our teachers with graduate or renewal credit, a blessing of time and funding for staff. I was able to become an adjunct professor for Drake and am presently completing facilitating my 29th class. The workshops were arranged in such a way to support the curriculum cycle of the area Christian schools.