Vail Valley Voices: Straining for what’s ahead for Vail Christian High School
Vail, CO, Colorado
Upon completion of 40-plus years in private education, going into my fourth year as headmaster of Vail Christian High School, and Vail Christian’s 13th year as a Christian high school in the valley, this portion of the Bible comes to mind: “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” Philippians 3:13.
These are great words from our Lord and are so applicable in so many situations in our lives. I am so excited about the future of Vail Christian High School. The Lord has assembled some of the valley’s finest educators, of which 62 percent have advanced degrees. They not only love their subject areas but also love the Lord and are willing to share that love with students daily in direct and intentional ways.
These educators, who daily interact with our youth, are held to a very high standard of professionalism in every area of our school’s operation. Ninety-four percent of our staff returned this year as we all strain for what is ahead.
Last year was the first year Vail Christian instituted an AP course for all programs. Our students rose to that rigorous challenge. Sixty-seven of our students took 116 advanced placement tests, and more than 53 percent of the students scored a 3 or better and earned college credit. This is exceptional.
Six of our students earned the distinction of AP Scholar, and one of them earned a prestigious AP Scholar with Distinction.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Even our freshmen are on their way to earning college credit. What a great opportunity!
In addition, Vail Christian students, all of whom take the ACT, continue to outscore their high school counterparts on the ACT nationally, statewide, and locally with an average composite test score of 23.4. State average is 20.7 and the national average is 21.0. The scores are even higher for our seniors. There is no underperforming at Vail Christian High School.
On average, 96 percent of graduating seniors matriculate at four-year colleges and universities throughout the United States, and last year was the third year in a row that Vail Christian had a student accepted at Harvard.
In addition to our AP offerings, the Dual College Credit Program is available through Colorado Christian University and Concordia University in Nebraska, both four-year accredited universities.
Many of our students are on track to graduate with an associate’s degree upon their high school graduation, giving them an unprecedented jump on their peers.
Combine this with an average class size of 12 and a student-teacher ratio of 1-to-7 – students do not fall between the cracks at Vail Christian High School, as it is our mission to partner with parents to nurture the individual academic excellence of each student, and we do. There is no underperforming here.
Instilled in each educator, no matter in what system that educator teaches, is an innate desire to touch the lives of students in real and meaningful ways. At Vail Christian High School, we believe that we must take that even to higher levels where we do not merely meet the expectations of our students and families, we exceed them.
We have invited our first international student to Vail Christian from the northern province of Changchun in China. Along with the fact that nine of our students and one educator had the opportunity to spend 10 days in China this past summer, our students are receiving a real-world class education punctuated by hours of community service each year.
We are extremely proud of these young men and women who traveled to China this past year. They not only represented their parents and school so very well, they represented their communities and the United States as Vail Christian was the only school that was invited from the United States.
Zhang Wei, director of the Beijing International Educational Exchange, said: “I and BIEE staff are very much impressed with VCHS students at the summer camp. The kids represented your school and your country well. BIEE was quite also impressed with the chaperone from your school, the history teacher (Patrick Beaudine), according to BIEE staff. He is a wonderful person, courteous, caring and loves the students. So having said all these, BIEE would like to have the opportunity to invite your students to visit Beijing in summer 2012.”
This is great news as we strain for what is ahead.
At Vail Christian High School, we are honored to be a part of our valley’s communities to offer an alternative education that touches not only the academic, physical and emotional, but also the spiritual lives of our students. Our students are invited to grow in their spiritual walk no matter what religion they proclaim.
Within our Christian denominations, there is one very core belief that makes us Christian and we celebrate that each day in classrooms, halls and on fields and courts of competition. Sharing our campus with Calvary Chapel and having an alliance with St. Clare and The Vail Academy that is housed on our campus demonstrates in a very real way a focus that goes beyond denominational differences. We are straining for what is ahead.
I am excited for our future – a future that will see the continued growth of academic excellence for our students, a future that will continue to provide opportunities for real spiritual growth within our Vail Christian family and within our communities, a future that will continue to provide the type of rigor that permits students to compete on a world platform and in a world marketplace. These are not merely hollow statements. We are straining for what is ahead.
I want to share a quote: “You cannot do what I can do, and I cannot do what you can do, but together, we can do great things. That’s a direct quote from Mother Teresa that I often share with people who desire to work with us and participate in this great academic adventure.
It is so very true and meaningful for me and for Vail Christian that so many within our communities have stepped forward to create a firm foundation and footing on which we continue to build today. We are not cutting back but adding programs that will continue to impact the lives of our students.
If you are looking for an alternative for your children or grandchildren, I encourage you to compare educationally what this valley has to offer and consider Vail Christian High School. You may be surprised at what you find. Come and see us again for the first time.
Randy Lowe is the headmaster of Vail Christian High School.