While many families and businesses in our area were joyfully preparing for the holiday season, a group in our community was dealt a devastating blow that will impact jobs and an educational option for many young people. On Dec. 11, families, teachers and staff at Wellington Christian School were informed that the high school is scheduled to be closed at the end of this school year.
As the parent of a senior (my son has attended Wellington Christian School for 13 years), I could walk away with a sigh of relief that my son made it through the school before this devastating decision point was considered, but as a mom who has witnessed the hundreds of young people that have come through Wellington Christian School and how they have been impacted by the school and the teachers, I simply cannot walk away without knowing I have done everything I can to influence a change in this decision.
We are hoping that we can connect with one or more of the businesses, individuals and entertainers in our local community who would be open to learning more about Wellington Christian School, what it has to offer to the young people in our community, and how they can help. Please reach out if you or someone you know may be able to help. Saving this local high school so it can grow and serve more students in our community is a concern for us all.
Of the students who have graduated from Wellington Christian School, 98 percent have gone on to attend colleges and universities. Many have chosen careers such as doctors, lawyers, researchers and teachers, to name a few. More important, WCS has prepared these young people to be compassionate thinkers, equipped to deal with the world we are experiencing today. An important aspect of the WCS experience for students is teaching them to look for and engage in service throughout their community. The students here overwhelmingly step up for so many projects in our local community.
While WCS is not the only private school in the western communities, it is the only Christian PK2 – 12th grade school in Wellington. The school generously supports many students who want and need a smaller educational environment with financial aid. For a school of its size, the academic offerings, athletic options and opportunities for students are unsurpassed. The economic downturn and the need for even more financial aid has unfortunately taken the school from its growth path that would have allowed the school to offer even more to its students.
An area that we as parents have regretfully neglected is going outside our walls to gain supporters who share the same values and aspirations we have for our children. We have lacked donor support that many of the other schools in our area have had, not because of what the school offers, but because we have never asked. Shame on us, but the loss of this high school would be a major loss for the western communities.
Wellington Christian School is a community school that celebrates its ethnic, socio-economic and religious diversity, and now we need help. There are many businesses, individuals and entertainers in our local community that we know share the educational vision that WCS has for our young people. So many of these people already give generously to our community, and we are asking for their help. WCS parents and teachers are mobilizing to meet a very short and urgent deadline to save our high school. We are planning a major event on Jan. 23 to coincide with the high school’s homecoming week, but we also have a shorter deadline to solicit one and/or a few significant donors. These donors would allow us to change the imminent direction of the high school. With this new information and eyes wide open, we would ensure that whatever brought this important ministry to where it is now financially, would not happen again.
If you are an individual, business or local entertainer who supports local business and strongly supports academic choice for our local youth, please reach out to learn more about Wellington Christian School and allow us to share how you can help.
Lainie Guthrie, Royal Palm Beach