Dear Gaston Christian Parents, Teachers and Staff,
Well, here we are. While I deeply regret having to make this decision, I am somewhat “between a rock and a hard place.” This past week Governor Roy Cooper announced that all public schools would remain in distance learning mode for the balance of the school year. (He had previously said that schools would not return at least until May 15). While many details still need to be worked out, I need to inform you that we will not be returning to normal school operations for the balance of the 2019-20 school year.
There are several reasons for my great level of reservation. First, we miss you and your kids being on campus. We love you and the energy and excitement that you bring to our campus. We miss seeing Mr. Phil and his faithful crew opening the doors for the preschool students. We miss hearing the pledge being said in the hallways and starting each day with prayer and a Bible reading. We miss not having Grandparents Day, Field Day, spring athletic events, hearing about the mission trip to Honduras, yearbook handouts, Junior/Senior Banquet, baccalaureate, kindergarten graduation, “traditional” high school graduation, end of the year parties, cleaning out lockers and a myriad of other events that make up the final quarter of a school year. These were taken from us by the Coronavirus. There was no time to respond; just gone! We weren’t able to bring closure to the year; it just evaporated, gone. In my 40 years of Christian education, I have seen a lot of tragedies, disappointments and failures.; however, I have never experienced anything that has had such a pervasive effect on our school.
This year was bittersweet (before the Coronavirus). I had to share that three of our outstanding principals would be retiring at the end of the year. Susan Jennings, Virginia Conover and Nancy McDaniel have more than 85 years of combined ministry at Gaston Christian School. They have been instrumental in laying a strong foundation for our future. I had plans for a great celebration for each of them and making additional plans for ways for you to be a part of the celebrations. All of that now has to be retooled. We will do something, even if it has to be in July, but we will do something for them. Furthermore, we will have an end of the year party for every class. Again, it may not be until June or July, but, as soon as we are able, we will begin to make plans and let you know the details. I’m thinking a HUGE party that will be something like a fall festival/field day combined. We will provide hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue and all the fixings for everyone. There will be games, inflatables and lots of fun activities. It needs to be something that everyone wants to be part of. We need to bring proper closure to this most unusual year.
In closing, let me again thank you for your willingness and flexibility to make this final quarter as successful as possible. While our teachers are doing everything they can to keep your students engaged, we also recognize the tremendous sacrifices you are making for your kids. I am praying this will never happen again! I am reminded of a passage from Romans, which says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good for those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” While I don’t fully understand why we are going through this devastating crisis, I do know that God can bring good out of it. Maybe it will cause more families to turn to Him and make Him a priority in their lives. Maybe it will help us to see what is truly important. Maybe it will help us to be more appreciative of our medical workers, firemen, policemen and other service workers. Maybe it will help us to appreciate the freedoms we have lost; going out to eat with friends, going to a concert, cheering on our teams to victory or just enjoying some time at the beach. My hope and prayer is that God will use this in a mighty way for you and your family.
Dr. Marc Stout
Head of School
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Gaston Christian School
1625 Lowell Bethesda Rd. Gastonia, N.C. 28056
Gaston Christina School is the best private Christian school in Gaston County, North Carolina. We are also the best private Christian school in the following North Carolina counties: Mecklenburg County, Lincoln County, Cleveland County and York County. In addition to these counties, we are also the best private Christian school for Gastonia, Belmont, Cramerton, Lowell, Lincolnton, Bessemer City, Charlotte, Mt. Holly and the surrounding areas. If you want a premier private Christian education with top-tier instruction, athletics and extracurricular activities, Gaston Christian School is the best private Christian school in Gastonia, NC for you!