Grace is topic at Rotary

Published 2:39 pm Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Bainbridge Rotary Club recently heard a little about Grace Christian Academy’s past and a little about the future of the only private school in Decatur County.

Established in 1994 as an extension of Grace Christian Church, the school opened with 47 total students in K5 through ninth grade, explained Joan Shiver, director of the school. The school’s mission is to partner with parents to provide a quality Christ-centered education through excellent academics, spiritual and service opportunities, and exciting co-curricular activities.

With a current enrollment of 285 students in K3 through 12, the school is accredited through the Georgia Accrediting Commission and utilizes the A Beka curriculum. With partnerships with roughly 60 churches throughout South Georgia and North Florida, the school is non-denominational in focus, but centers on core Christian values, according to Shiver.

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Students at Grace qualify for Hope Scholarship funds provided by the state of Georgia and virtually 100 percent of graduates attend college.

“We feel that we do a good job preparing students for the future so that they can go into any endeavor they choose,” Shiver said.

Under the direction of Jeff Eenigenburg, the school puts a heavy emphasis on fine arts and the benefits to students associated exposure to the arts.

“The part I love the most about being involved with the fine arts department is through the process the students explore God’s word, learn truth and Christian morals,” said Eenigenburg, the school’s fine arts director.

Mike Harrell, coach of the girls’ basketball team at the school and the current Rotary Club president, described the school’s athletic programs. As part of the Panhandle Christian Conference, consisting of 17 Christian schools throughout Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Grace competes in the East division of the conference.

The school offers a wide variety of fall and spring sports for both girls and boys on the junior varsity and varsity levels.

Cile Warr, the director of development for the school, explained the importance of the Grace Christian Academy Foundation in the operation of the school.

Just over two years old, the foundation recently attained 501 (c3) non-profit status and has established an annual fund. The fund provides for faculty and staff development, technology, programs, facilities and scholarships.