Newly formed North Sound Christian merges families, schools

  • Jennifer Aaby<br>Enterprise writer
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 6:55am

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Water balloons zipped through the air, students got a pie in the face and anyone could end up in “jail,” but it was all in good fun as families of the newly formed North Sound Christian School District came together for the first time last week.

Students were able to meet one another first when all elementary students were bused to the current Snohomish County Christian School campus in Mountlake Terrace for lunch and a showing of the school’s “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” on June 2.

During the evening of June 3, all families were welcome to attend and participate in the secondary school’s carnival, which is organized by the junior and senior high school students.

Although the schools’ administrators have been meeting regularly to smooth out the bumps in the transition from six schools to one connected school district, this really was the first combined event for families and students, said Debbie Schindler, administrator for Snohomish County Christian’s secondary school campus.

Christian Life School in Lynnwood, North Seattle Christian School in Shoreline and the Snohomish County Christian elementary and secondary schools comprise the member schools for the North Sound Christian School District. Heritage Christian School in Bothell and Fairview Christian School in North Seattle are affiliate schools, Schindler said.

“One of the things the principals want to do is allow each school to maintain their individuality,” Schindler said. The member schools will each be called North Sound Christian School, but each school will have its own programs and leadership teams, she said.

One school board will have representatives from each school, but it will still be important for each school to have a strong core of supporters and volunteers, to guide the school board members, Schindler said.

“We have a unified message,” Schindler said.

Changes may come gradually, but for now, one of the toughest transitions may be the name change.

Parent Ann Thorsteinson has had children enrolled at Snohomish County Christian for 10 years, and she said her daughter, who is a freshman in high school currently, is a little disappointed her diploma won’t read Snohomish County Christian School, she said.

“The pros outweigh the cons,” Thorsteinson said, “so we’re going to go with it.”

Although enrollment may increase, Thorsteinson said she looks forward to what additional opportunities may arise from joining with the other schools.

Freshman Myisha Valentine has attended Snohomish County Christian since kindergarten, so she’ll miss the name, but “it’ll be really cool to have more people,” she said.

Senior Tegan Cathey will have already graduated, but she sees the possibility of having greater connections with a larger community.

“I think it’s exciting to have more opportunities,” Cathey said.

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