‘The OACS is a major player in the independent school sector in Ontario’: VanArragon
Three of the new Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) directors share the vision to expand the organization’s reach into the community and within the province’s education sector.
Ray Hendriks, Larry Lutgendorff and Gary VanArragon are new additions to the OACS staff and told the OACS News about their goals.
Ray Hendriks, the new OACS director of advancement, says his goal is to continue to elicit excitement towards Christian education in Ontario.
“I believe we have an important role not only in the Christian community, but generally in the educational community to carry a vision for education forward,” he says.
Formerly the principal at Rhema Christian School in Peterborough, Hendriks will be visiting OACS member schools to help develop their advancement and recruitment programs.
“My love for Christian schooling is really in the area of pursuits of excellence in the schools, which will result in a renewed interest in the larger community in Christian education,” says Hendriks.
Larry Lutgendorff joins the OACS staff as the director of development. He has previous experience in many OACS schools, most recently at John Knox Christian School in Oakville.
He says he wants to help people understand what the OACS brings to independent education.
“I think it’s really important to have a strong central organization to help schools become better,” he says. “I think it’s because of this organization that we have such excellent Christian schools in the OACS system.”
Gary VanArragon is a former principal at Woodland Christian High School and currently the OACS director of secondary services.
One of his goals in his new position is to raise the profile of Christian schools in the province.
“I think the OACS is a major player in the independent school sector in Ontario,” says VanArragon.
“I’d like to see the OACS publicly acknowledged to be that kind of (major) factor in independent education in Ontario … to see us more actively in dialogue with other independent schools and the schools in the public sector as well,” VanArragon says.
VanArragon says the OACS has a good reputation, but there is more work to be done to raise the profile for Christian schools as a whole in the province. He says this can be accomplished through conversations with the Ministry of Education, publicly funded schools and other independent schools.
“I really do believe that Christian schools are a public good in this province,” he says.