Westminster_Christian_Academy_(Missouri)

Westminster Christian Academy (Missouri)

Westminster Christian Academy (WCA) is a private,Christian school, 7-12 grade secondary school located in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States.

The school currently has an enrollment of approximately 865 students in grades 7 through 12. It is further divided into an Upper School (9-12) of approximately 611 students and a Middle School (7-8) of approximately 254 students. Tuition for the 2008-2009 school year is $11,050USD regardless of grade.

History

Westminster Christian Academy opened on September 7, 1976 to 72 students. In the first two years, Westminster operated out of rented classrooms from Missouri Baptist University. For the first two years, Nolan Vander Ark was headmaster of the school. Before joining Westminster, Mr. Vander Ark served as a Christian Reformed Missionary in Africa. After two years of renting space, the administration purchased a campus known as the "Des Peres School" in Kirkwood, Missouri. Once Westminster moved to the new campus, Evelyn Downs stepped up as headmistress. She remained headmistress until 1981. In four years after moving to that campus, the student body had quadrupled, and it was obvious that Westminster had to move to a bigger campus. At this point, Arlen Dykstra became headmaster so he oversaw the relocation of the school to the current location and the accredidation of the school through Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS). In 1982, they purchased the Creve Couer campus, where they are at today. In 1984, the school faced another dilemma as they were without a headmaster once more. Larry Birchler, the registrar for the school, stepped up as interim Headmaster until they could find a new one. In 1985, Jim Marsh became headmaster who is the current one today.

Campuses

Creve Coeur Campus

Purchased in 1984, the 30 acre Creve Coeur Campus serves as the primary campus for the school.

In 1999, the school started an $11 million construction and renovation project. With the money, the school added a new gymnasium, new student commons, new senior and 8th grade hallway wings, a new weightlifting facility and locker rooms, a new bookstore, and new offices. Dubbed the "Creve Coeur Campus", the building has over 150,000 square feet, a 25 yard indoor pool, library, two gymnasiums, cafeteria, academic and administrative rooms, and outdoor sports facilities.

Town and Country Campus

In 2002, Westminster purchased the campus of the West County Vocational Technical School in Town and Country with plans to renovate the space to serve for future growth of the school. Currently, the property is being rented out to unaffiliated associations and is also used for various school activities. The school has recently announced plans to move the school to this location in the fall of 2011. Additionally, an adjacent parcel of land was purchased from Central Presbyterian Church. The purchase was made possible by a donation to Westminster by an anonymous supporter. Plans are underway for a total of $50 million in renovations of the property in anticipation of the school moving to this new campus in 2011. The current site plan contemplates the addition of a multitude of fields for both practicing on and hosting games, 2-3 gymnasiums, 1 theater that seats 1000, black box theatre, a football stadium, soccer field, 2-4 practice fields, ice rink, swimming pool, and many storage facilities and locker rooms.

Academics

Westminster is strong academically -- during the 1990-1991 school year, it was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education. 65% of the faculty have advanced degrees, including 6 doctorates. 98% of the 2008 graduates went on to college. The school also offers a Special Services program to address the educational needs of those families who have students with diagnosed disabilities. Westminster was the first Christian school to be accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS), an accredidation which the school maintains to this day. The school is also accredited by Christian Schools International.

Activities

Athletics

Westminster Christian Academy has a large and successful athletic program. In June 2007, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ranked Westminster Christian Academy as the number one athletics program among small schools in the St. Louis metro region. The upper school fields 9 men's teams, 11 women's teams, and 2 co-ed teams that compete as part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association.

In 2006 in the Missouri state Class 4, both the men's and women's basketball teams were ranked in the top ten in the state. The men were ranked #9 and the women were ranked #4.

In 2005, Westminster Christian's Academic Competition team (coached by Bob Vass) won the MSHSAA state championship, which is the only MSHSAA title that Westminster has to date. However, many other teams have earned "Final Four" honors at the state level.

Wrestlers have continued to put more wrestlers in the state competition year after year.

Community Service

The student organizations and each class participate in community service projects. In addition, the seniors participate in “Faith in Action,” a unique program in which they serve in various help agencies throughout the St. Louis community for two hours each Thursday morning of the school year.

Memberships

Westminster is a member of the following organizations:

Notable people

Alumni

Faculty and Staff

References

External links

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