I am a senior at Wellington Christian School and have attended this same school for the past 13 years, since kindergarten. Along with many students and teachers at Wellington Christian School, I learned in December that the high school portion of our school may close. Like many of my classmates and teachers, I am devastated.
Throughout my 13 years at this school, I have been surrounded by teachers who took an interest in me personally. Whether in elementary, middle or high school, the academics and opportunities I have had as a student have been beyond anything I could have hoped. Did we ever wish we could have more? Sure, but as a private school, everything I needed to prepare myself academically to go on to college was available to me at WCS.
The high school teachers are more than teachers. They are mentors. Each teacher I have had at WCS has taken the time to get to know me as a student and a person. They knew of my goals and have actively worked to help me prepare for my future. As a somewhat quiet student, many of my teachers understood my reluctance to step outside my comfort zone and encouraged me to get involved in things that I might not have otherwise. On a very personal note, my cross country coach encouraged me to take on a sport I never envisioned for myself. I wasn’t the fastest guy on the team, but I never quit, and much of that is due to the support and encouragement provided by my coach. I learned from this coach (and teacher) what it took to stick with something, even when it was hard. That is something that I will carry with me through my lifetime. Like cross country, I had the opportunity to participate in many other activities, like varsity basketball, an opportunity I might not have had in a larger school. As I have applied to colleges, no one asks how many tried out for our varsity team; they just know I was a member…
Over the years, I have watched as alumni have come back to visit WCS. They share stories of their college experience and/or new careers, and always talk about how WCS helped them get to where they are today. They talk about how well prepared they were to enter college and attribute their preparedness to our school. I have experienced that first hand, in academics, in athletics and in the opportunities every student at our school has to join, lead and build confidence.
While I may not be aware of all the financials, what I can attest to is what this school and the teachers have done for me and why this school is so important for our community. I talk to friends who attend large public schools or other large private schools in the area. I know that WCS was the right school for me and for many of my classmates. While those schools may offer more stuff, WCS is a family, a small community of educators who are totally focused on the students.
As the only private Christian school in Wellington, it would be a loss to our town if this high school were to close. So many students have come through this school and so many (in lower grades) have had that dream to graduate from here as well. As a student, I have always envisioned watching the school grow and coming back as an alumnus. I know we have current students whose parents graduated from WCS, and that is something I envisioned perhaps giving to my children one day.
Wellington and our surrounding communities need Wellington Christian to continue with their high school so that there is a choice available to students. There are several schools that can offer more “stuff,” but WCS is a unique school that has prepared me and so many students for our futures. Aside from the loss to students, many good teachers will be impacted if this closing is to proceed. Please help us save our high school.
Brian Buckley, Royal Palm Beach