Edwards school ‘stronger’ after nearly closing | VailDaily.com

Edwards school ‘stronger’ after nearly closing

Sarah Mausolf
Vail, CO Colorado
NWS Vail Christian 1 KA 11-23-10

EDWARDS, Colorado – There were lots of tears last spring when students at Vail Christian High School found out their school would be closing.

“It will go down as one of the worst days of my life,” Senior Micaela McGuckin recalled.

Less than a month later, though, her cell started blowing up and she could barely believe the text messages she was getting.

“The school is saved!” they read.

Thanks to an anonymous 7-figure donation, the school reached an agreement with its bond holds and Vail Christian was, indeed, saved.

“There were kids cartwheeling in the hallways,” Head of School Randy Lowe recalled. “There were kids crying. There were kids off in a corner praying. That kind of feeling has carried us into this school year.”

Vail Christian is not only open, leaders say last spring’s calamity has brought everyone at the school closer together.

“I think we’re stronger for it as a student body in terms of school spirit and culture,” Lowe said.

Adding to the celebratory mood this year, the girls’ volleyball team this month made it all the way to states.

“It was like frosting on the cake,” Lowe said.

Nearly the entire student body traveled out to Denver to support the team.

With Thanksgiving coming up, a feeling of thankfulness is palatable at the school, he said.

“You can almost feel it in the halls,” he said.

The school opened this year with 77 students enrolled, down just five students from last year. Lowe said that’s positive, given the school’s near closing. With the assurance that Vail Christian is staying open, school leaders are also moving ahead with an international program. Lowe said he plans to visit Mainland China in February to meet with the ministry of education and hopefully recruit five to 10 Chinese students. He envisions a foreign exchange program where Vail Christian students could stay with Chinese families in the summers.

Many existing students say they now appreciate their school in a way they never did before.

Senior Chris Purse said the mood at the annual retreat to Buena Vista in August was especially positive and that no one talked about the school’s near closing.

“We just left it in the past and focused on the future,” he said.

Speaking of which, Purse said he’s looking forward to graduation.

“I’ve gone here all four years,” he said. “I can’t wait to finish it out. I didn’t want to start somewhere else.”

Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

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