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PUBLISHED: 4:41 PM on Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Faith Community School offers education alternative
It's a lively afternoon at Faith Community School as students enjoy recess time outside on the playground, some kicking soccer balls and others congregate in groups chattering away. Inside the large brick-red school building, fifth and sixth grade students are actively participating in a "brain map" project while learning about mammals.

Surveying the group of fifth and sixth graders, no one seems to be idle as their eyes are riveted on teacher Angie Love's animated lecture, and hands pop up to answer questions.

Still going strong, the Faith Community School has grown significantly since their opening for the 2006-2007 school year. Located in the Auke Bay Bible Church, the school offers enrollment for grades pre-kindergarten through 10th.

Upper grade levels are a case-by-case scenario. This year the current enrollment is 72 students; last year 52 students were enrolled.

The school was organized by a group of dedicated parents and concerned teachers who are committed to Christian education.

"When Juneau Christian School closed, many parents and teachers realized that there was a need for Christian education in our community," said head teacher Love.


Photo by Abby LaForce
  Faith Community School, located in Auke Bay Bible Church, offers enrollment for grades pre-kindergarten through 10th.
Juneau Christian School had operated 26 years before closing.

In addition to incorporating Christianity into education, the school invites pastors, teachers, students, parents, staff and volunteers from all Christian churches who support the school's mission statement.

"It is our mission to provide each child with a spiritual, academic, and social environment in which Christ is the foundation of their learning experience," according to their Web site.

Every morning, vice-president and seventh/eighth grade teacher Heidi Boucher starts the day with devotional time together, she said.

"At the end of this time we pray together, I love to hear the things they pray about; icy roads and safety for drivers, their families, a relative who is ill, tests and quizzes, their behavior and other requests. I am inspired by their openness during prayer and their concern for others. It is wonderful to see the compassion these middle school students have for their fellow classmates and other people," Boucher said.

Boucher has taught some of the current students for over three years, and said she has been impressed with their growth.

"Faith Community School is different from other schools in the community in that it offers rigorous academics as well as a Christ-centered learning environment. The school is run by a board of directors and parent volunteers are welcomed throughout the school," Love said.

Parents are involved in determining curriculum choices in addition to the committee.

"Faith Community School is committed to offering its students an excellent curriculum," Love said.

"The best part of my job is the students. They are hard workers whose goal is to achieve their best. It is wonderful to watch a student attain their goals as they grow academically and spiritually," she said.

The students are a continual inspiration to the teachers on several levels.


Photo by Abby LaForce
  Sixth grader Korrianna Mitchell takes notes while teacher Angie Love lectures at Faith Community School.
"I admire their willingness to make choices that are pleasing to God; they will stand up for what they believe is right regardless of what others think. I really admire the courage they display," Boucher said.

Additional constituents of the loyal group who keep the school running includes: president Mark Morris, PE/music teacher Freddy Cummins, kindergarten teacher Nicole Penrose, first/second grade teachers Trista Anderson and Ann Marshall, third/fourth grade teacher Tammy Morris, and high school teachers Janet Conniff, Sarita Knull and Bonnie Spallinger.

"I have the best job: it's close to home and I love the variety that I have. It's a great place to work," said teacher Freddy Cummins.

In addition to her other duties, she also works in the front office.

Currently, annual tuition varies per grade levels with elementary (K-6) at $3,700, middle (7-8) at $4,300 at high school (9-12) at $4,300. Families with more than one child in attendance will receive a discount per child for tuition. Other fees include registration, book/art and or lab fees. Faith Community school is funded mainly through tuition costs.

To enroll, an application process is required and can be accessed through the school's Web site. The school requires an enrollment fee and has several payment plans that vary in cost depending on the length of time it takes to complete payments.

Faith Community School isn't the only Christian school in Juneau-Seventh-Day Adventist Christian School has been offering education since 1961, and has a smaller enrollment of about 11 students this year ranging from second to eighth grade classes.

In anticipation of the holidays, Faith Community School will be offering a holiday performance to the public.

"One of the highlights of the year is our Christmas musical. Students from all grades are involved in the production," Love said.

The musical will be performed on December 14th at 6:30 p.m. at Auke Bay Bible Church.

"The motto of the school is, 'Educating Students Who Make a Difference.' We do our best to equip our students to be successful in the classroom as well as life. Faith Community School strives to have a student body that serves others and makes a positive difference in the community," Love said.

As far as the building facilities, she said "they (Auke Bay Bible Church) have been kind and gracious hosts as they work to accommodate our needs."

For more information contact 790-2240 or visit www.faithschool.com.


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