Page 1

PORTLAND CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS

Telling Times “It is my pleasure to tell you about the wonders that the Most High God has performed for me.” Daniel 4:2 Welcome to the launch of Portland Christian’s Telling Times! God is at work at PC, blessings abound, and we want to tell you the good news! PARENT PROFILE Spring 2012 Parent Survey Last spring many of you took the time to respond to a survey about your experience with PCS. Thank you for your input! The information you shared is an immense help as we work to improve PCS for the benefit of our students and families. See the box on the right for what we learned from that survey. The information gathered has already been put to use. For example, we have restructured our counseling department and are in the process of building web pages full of helpful college prep information. We now have a guidance counselor dedicated to student support, who is already helping students interact more positively with each other. Learn more about changes we are implementing in future issues of Telling Times. We have been so thrilled with the survey responses that we plan to continue the survey as an annual occurrence – and not only with parents! We will also be asking faculty and staff for their opinions and will even survey some of our students. Watch to see how PC changes in response to what we learn. Your input matters!

Areas in which PC is strong: 

Caring, competent, dedicated faculty and staff

Christian world view/Biblical instruction and values

Small class size

Close-knit community

Strong academics

Areas PC needs to improve: 

College prep information/help

Dress code enforcement/consistency

Peer interaction/disrespect

Communication

Faculty turnover


FINANCE FACTS Still Counting Our Blessings It is no secret that money has been tight lately. The economic recovery has been slow. Family budgets have been stretched thin. Enrollment, the most significant factor affecting PC’s budget, has declined the past few years. As a result, PC’s budget has also been stretched thin. In fact, last year (2011-12), in a very unusual occurrence, PC operated on a deficit budget. While preparing the 2012-13 preliminary operating budget last spring, the PC administration committed the process to prayer – and made some very difficult choices. Some staff positions were eliminated or decreased. Some programs were reduced. Some electives were dropped altogether. With all this belt-tightening, how do the books look six months later? Well, the Lord has blessed! Here are a few details: 

After many months of poor returns, the value of PC’s investments shot up on the last day of the fiscal year. Consequently, while we still experienced a loss, it was 82% LESS of a loss than we expected...and…

In the spring of 2012, enrollment for the 2012-13 school year was projected at 553 and the (very lean) preliminary operating budget was prepared based on this projection. In October 2012, K-12 enrollment sat at 530. As enrollment goes, the budget follows…not too encouraging…yet…

Many lesser factors worked together to save a few dollars here, bring in a few dollars there. For example, insurance costs, expected to increase with a decrease in services, actually decreased with an increase in services. The amount needed for tuition discounts proved to be less than anticipated. Unexpected donations of furniture, equipment, and supplies resulted in dollars saved. As the preliminary budget was reworked line by line to prepare the final budget, small changes like these had a significant impact on the bottom line.

When all was said and done, the 2012-13 final operating budget presented to and approved by the Board of Trustees in October was neither extravagant nor austere, was beautifully balanced, and IS absolutely a blessing from the Lord! CHEERS FOR ... New Staff Let’s hear it for all of the amazing people who have joined PC as new faculty and staff or have moved into entirely new roles since last spring! Gary Akiyama Development Director

Rebecca Blumhardt ECE/After School Teacher

Amye Brunelle Kelsey Anderson Intern/Anatomy/Health Teacher Kindergarten Teacher (con’t. pg 3, “Cheers”)

FACULTY FOCUS Cari Wooley Portland Christian’s faculty has always been one of our strongest assets. As teachers move on from Portland Christian, we sometimes experience huge gaps, and we wonder how we will fill them. And then we are reminded, God has a plan, and it is good (Jeremiah 29:11)! He uses existing connections and creates new ones to meet needs in the most amazing ways! At the end of last year, one of our gaps was in the English department – we needed an English teacher capable of teaching the AP course. The Lord sent us Cari Wooley… passionate about students, Christ, and English! We offered her the position, she accepted – and she is proving to be a huge blessing to the students and the school. And then a bonus – a connection that we didn’t even know existed: Cari, it turns out, in her elementary school days, was a protégé of Annette Johnson’s mom, Judith Ayers, who was a teacher and librarian. Chatting with Cari one day, Annette discovered that THIS was the Cari who used to go on “field trips” with her family years ago. That connection made a huge impact on Cari; she told Annette, “I am a teacher today because of your mom.” 2


Cheers continued

Matt Caldwell Jr/Sr HS Choir/Band Teacher Barbara Criscitiello ECE/After School Teacher Nicole Curtis ECE Front Desk, Elem. Art Christina Flowers 2nd Grade Teacher STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Sisay Gillock Every Portland Christian student excels in some area: academics, sports, the arts, relationships, character, service. Each one deserves the spotlight. Sisay Gillock is one PC student who is willing to share his story. Sisay (“See-sigh”) was born in Ethiopia, where he became orphaned as a young boy. The Gillocks met him in 2008 when part of the family was there on a short term mission trip with Blessing the Children, Intl (BTI). Sisay was 12 at the time and was living in a group foster home where the Gillocks were working. As a good English speaker he helped with interpretation and communication, and in the process, developed a relationship with the Gillock family. Having previously adopted a little girl from Kazakhstan (Anara, also a PC student, now in the 8th grade), the Gillocks were very open to the idea of adopting another child. The Lord seemed to be telling them that Sisay was that child! Once his adoption was finalized, Sisay enrolled in Portland Christian as a 9th grader. Gene Gillock, Sisay’s dad says, “he is a great kid…a typical teenager”– isn’t it wonderful that those characteristics go hand in hand? What is Sisay’s take on all this? “Coming here was a huge change… I was scared because I didn’t know anyone...but they were all friendly! … Being accepted by the students and teachers was great!”

Daniel Grady Custodian Matthew Grubbs Chemistry/Physics Teacher Kevin Johnson Jr/Sr HS PE Teacher Shirly Faith Heidegger Speech/Drama/ESL Teacher Jim Hill Jr/Sr HS Principal Kimberli Hilt 5th Grade Teacher Rachel Humphrey French Teacher Blair Hutchinson ECE/Elem/Jr High Spanish Teacher Sherri James Jr/Sr HS Academic Counselor Jane Mauk Jr/Sr HS Library Monitor Melinda McClelland Jr High Yearbook Teacher Misti Moxley Guidance Counselor

Initially interested in soccer – that is the sport he knew from Ethiopia – Sisay soon discovered that he had a talent for running. He joined the PC track and cross-country programs and proved himself to be an amazing runner! In the recent 1A/2A/3A OSAA State Cross Country Championships, he finished 4th out of 109 runners! Well done, Sisay!

David Raffetto Spanish Teacher

Sisay and his family recognize that his talent is a gift from God and give God the glory for his every success!

Linda Swenson Communications Director

Arlyee Schilling Receptionist

Cari Wooley HS & AP English Teacher

3

Telling Times No. 1 Dec. 2012  

first newsletter