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Christian school alumni take top academic honours in public school

Written on December 19th, 2008

Parents point to Christian schools as important factor in success

Emily Burton is one of a number of Christian school alumni who has recently taken top academic honours in the public school sector.

Emily, who attended Rhema Christian School in Peterborough from senior kindergarten to Grade 8, was awarded on Nov. 24 for top marks in Grade 9 religion, academic english and business technology at Holy Cross Secondary School.

Patti Burton, Emily’s mother, says Rhema offered a foundation for her daughter that has prepared her in a number of ways to do well where she is now.

“I believe Emily learned many things from Rhema, things like the value of doing your best no matter what your best is, being respectful, the importance of asking questions, and most importantly, what living a Christian life looks like,” says Burton.

“For us, her parents, we are thrilled that she has been given the opportunity to shine by her willingness to use the gifts God has given to her. We are watching her grow and mature and come into her own in ways we would have never have imagined.”

Burton says she believes the love and guidance and patience her daughter received during her time at Rhema has helped her grow in confidence and self-assurance.

Several graduates from Heritage Community Christian School in New Dublin also placed very well for the 2007-08 school year at the public school they now attend, Athens District High School.

The gold, silver and bronze medals for the highest Grade 9 marks all went to alumni from the Christian school. In addition, the gold medal recipient took the top mark in every subject she completed in the 2007-2008 school year.

Several other alumni from that school also placed well academically.

“Students leaving Heritage Community Christian School, New Dublin, and entering the public school system for their secondary school education have been doing very well,” says Julie deKroon, secretary at Heritage and parent to two of the academic achievers.

“These students are well-prepared academically and are self-disciplined, polite, attentive, respectful, and have a good work ethic. These basic values instilled in the students by a very dedicated teaching staff serve them well as they continue their education in secondary school. Students consistently achieve honours at the high school level and win subject proficiency awards for finishing at the top of their classes.”

Ray Hendriks, director of advancement for the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools, says his own years of experience as principal of a Christian school, as well as conversations with others in the field, confirm that Christian school alumni often do well academically in other educational settings.

“Historically we’ve known our students to do extremely well when they move from our schools into other systems,” he says.

“For me, it’s an affirmation that Christian education, while it’s about so many things, is also about students being properly prepared for the academic pursuits that they face.

“(I’m) pleased to see that our children represent themselves so well in any academic setting that they find themselves in.”