The Kistler Family
Children’s Ministry Pastor Ken Kistler of Crossroads Community Church in Valencia and his wife Lynn first enrolled Ewan and Tate at Santa Clarita Christian School over five years ago.
The Kistler family had a strong desire for the boys to attend a school that taught from a biblical perspective.
“My wife and I talk about this a lot,” said Ken. “Our kids are at school six hours a day, five days a week. If our kids can learn about history, science, math, football and basketball from a biblical perspective, that matches what they get at home and church, that's a big win for us. That is the biggest differentiator. The cost of tuition is worth it to us.”
Ken and Lynn also place a high value on the families that Ewan and Tate are interacting with at school.
“When the boys go to a birthday party or spend the night at their friend’s house, I find comfort in knowing those families tend to have the same biblical perspective we have and that their parents will not only point their kids towards God’s truth, but also my kids,” said Ken. “The more people the boys are around who love Jesus and want to serve Him, the more likely they will want to grow up and serve Him as well.”
The Kistler family appreciates the diversity in churches that are represented at SCCS, as well as the strong, family community and friendships they have made.
“Every year I would go on the 8th grade Washington D.C trip,” said Ken. “I have spent a lot of time with many of the dads on these trips. Some of my best friends I have in my life right now I met through SCCS and all of them go to many different churches around the valley.”
At SCCS, students character is paramount.
“Each time I have received a report from one of Ewan or Tate’s teachers about their behavior, the teachers have always dealt with it in a biblical way,” said Ken. “They partner with us and walk alongside us each and every time. They truly care about their character. To me that is priceless.”
Ewan and Tate are now in the 6th and 8th grade and are thriving.
The Walker Family
Pastor Marty Walker of The Sanctuary Church in Canyon Country and his wife Debbie have four kids, all of whom graduated from different high schools in the SCV.
“The first twelve years we homeschooled our kids,” said Pastor Walker. “Each of them moved on and went to different schools based on their needs. One went to Canyon and the others went to Opportunities for Learning, Golden Valley and Santa Clarita Christian. For my youngest daughter Abigail, SCCS was a perfect fit.”
Abigail began at SCCS in the fifth grade and graduated in 2015.
Over the years, the Walker family noticed a profound difference between the nurturing Abigail received from her teachers at SCCS and what their children received in the schools they were attending.
“The teachers at SCCS tenderly and compassionately connected with Abigail,” said Pastor Walker. “I wasn’t hearing these same kinds of stories from my other kids. What teacher sits down and cries with you when you are struggling; praying and walking alongside you through difficult situations? Abigail is forever changed because of the connections she made at SCCS. From the encouragement she received from her teachers, coaches and friends, to Bible class, chapel and iServe; this environment created a beautiful foundation that helped her to blossom into who she is today.”
Over the past 28 years Pastor Walker has seen SCCS evolve and grow.
“SCCS has grown tremendously academically and in their course offerings,” said Pastor Walker. “As a once youth pastor and now senior pastor, I have personally seen many kids graduate and go off to college and be successful in their next life-stage.”
Pastor Walker has seen the most change at SCCS under Administrator, Kirk Huckabone and Principal, Mark Wilson. “They have really embraced the body of Christ in Santa Clarita,” said Pastor Walker. “Every year Mr. Huckabone visits me and is personally interested in what is happening with our congregation.”
Pastor Walker expressed his concern for the obstacles parent’s face in raising their children in today’s society. “It seems as if what we are doing at home gets undone at school,” said Pastor Walker. “SCCS offers a truly solid, Christian school education!”
Make your reservations for SCCS’ Spring Kindergarten Preview Day: March 3, 2017 at 8:15 am. Space is limited and filling fast! For more information call (661) 252-7371 or visit www.sccs.cc or facebook.com/SantaClaritaChristianSchool.
The George Family
Pastor Rusty George of Real Life Church in Valencia and his wife Lorrie first enrolled their daughters Lindsey and Sidney in Santa Clarita Christian School two years ago.
SCCS’ caring, Christian teachers have been an aspect of the school that they have appreciated and valued.
“The teachers at SCCS really love my girls,” said Pastor Rusty. “They pray for them and are interested in their lives above academics. I also value the small class sizes and I love that my girls get to play sports, attend chapel and Bible class and are in a nurturing, Christian environment with like-minded families.”
Rusty and Lorrie’s daughter Lindsey is in 8th grade and Sidney is in 6th grade. Lindsey played basketball last year and Sidney plays volleyball at SCCS.
“The coaches at SCCS are very supportive of the kids,” said Pastor Rusty. “Our girls did not grow up playing sports. This is their first run at it. To start in 5th and 7th grade is unique. Most kids start playing sports earlier on. The coaches at SCCS have always found a way for them to participate, learn about teamwork and comradery, have fun and enjoy the game. They care more about their growth and them as a person, than just their athletic ability.”
In the beginning of the school year, their daughter Sidney was sick and Sidney’s teacher, Miss Hovey, would pray for her in class. “I appreciate that extra level of care that the teachers at SCCS give,” said Pastor Rusty. “Not to say that we didn’t have nice teachers in public school. It is a different level at SCCS. The teachers at SCCS are Christ followers and they pray for our kids. And, if my girls have ever had any trouble with their homework or a test, the teachers have gone above and beyond to make sure they understand the work. Having our daughters at SCCS has been a great experience. I highly recommend SCCS to those I meet.”
SCCS attracts highly qualified, dedicated and passionate Christian teachers and coaches who love the Lord and who nurture, mentor, pray, teach and walk alongside each student.
The Dorris Family
When the Dorris Family first moved to the Santa Clarita Valley over eleven years ago, they were not only looking for a community to raise a family, but they also wanted to get plugged in and find a church.
In 2010, the Dorris’ enrolled their son in Kindergarten at Santa Clarita Christian School. Soon after, they found a church home at Higher Vision Church.
“I am comforted to know that my kids are covered from school, to home, to church,” said Anthony Dorris. “SCCS partners with us in raising our kids with biblical values. I wanted my kids to go to a school where they would be getting the same character training that they get at home. With the small class sizes, teachers are able to pay close attention when our kids are struggling. And, SCCS teachers are really a part of the SCV community. We have seen the principal of SCCS, Mr. Wilson at the movies and Kelly Steinbock at the Grace Baptist Church Marriage Conference. We enjoy seeing them out spending time with their families and serving the community.”
SCCS has also fostered a heart of compassion for their children. “Teachers who are also believers in Christ, have the ability to discern the gifts and callings within our kids,” said Anthony. “My son Anthony (Aj) really has a tender heart and Ashlyn has a heart for service. When teachers know that, they come alongside them and partner with us (parents), to continue fostering the gifts that the Lord has placed within them.”
Ashlyn’s teachers have also talked through what missions really looks like. “With her also hearing about missions at church, it has really given her a heart of compassion for people,” said Karen Dorris. “The teachers at SCCS have served Ashlyn and our family tirelessly; they have been a great example, to Ashlyn, of what serving others really looks like. Their ability to discern and see what is in our children individually and know how to pray for them is something that you can’t place a value on.”
Anthony’s son Anthony (Aj) is now in fifth grade and their daughter Ashlyn is in third grade at SCCS. Both of them are thriving. Anthony has been employed as the Staff Pastor at Higher Vision Church for over three years now.
The Amey Family
Five years ago, fifth grader Richard Amey was attending public school in Castaic and was struggling to keep his grades up.
“We had been praying for him and battling with him and the teachers, trying to turn things around,” said his father, Tim. “When school ended, we knew we had to make a difficult choice between a public or private middle school. We felt strongly that we needed to do something to take care of him.”
During this time, one of Tim’s prayer partners, a former teacher at The Master’s University, was praying with him about the struggle. Then “two weeks before school was to start we toured SCCS and knew that was our choice,” said Tim.
The Amey family had a compelling experience as an answer to prayer. “After we had been attending SCCS for six months, I learned that Richard’s teacher was my prayer partner’s granddaughter, Ms. O,” said Tim. “Ms. O turned everything around for Richard. From the minute we started at SCCS she was praying for us. She would email me any day there were challenges or struggles and thankfully these were very infrequent, but very helpful. She engaged him, challenged him, loved him and prayed for him and was committed to see that what was inside of him would come back out.”
Richard is now in the 9th grade and their younger son William is in the fifth. Their experience at SCCS has been consistent, year after year. “The love that the teachers have for our kids is amazing,” said Tim. “Their faith and commitment is nothing I have ever seen before. SCCS partners with families by meeting our same level of passion for our children. My sons are growing as men. It really has been a game changer for us.”
Richard concurs, “I make mistakes like every other teenager. But, the teachers at SCCS give me grace. They don’t shame me. Second chances are worth a million to me.”
What matters most to the Amey family is what unites us all at SCCS and that is our faith in Christ.
“SCCS was not part of our original plan,” said Tim. “God delivered for us and has continued to do so.”
The Salzarulo Family
Tim and Pamela Salzarulo’s first child Ella began her Kindergarten year enrolled in public school.
Three weeks after school had already begun, the Salzarulo’s had a change of heart. “We know as Christians, we are called to be the salt and light in the world,” said Pamela. “However, Tim and I are mature in our faith to live that calling out. We are missionaries. My children don’t know Him yet. They need to be taught and trained and in a place where the gospel will be reinforced.”
The third week into school, Pamela anxiously called Santa Clarita Christian School and within two days their paperwork was filled out and Ella was enrolled and was able to start at SCCS. “The teachers and families welcomed us with with open arms. We were very happy with our decision.”
Two years later Pamela’s second daughter, Olivia began Kindergarten at SCCS.
Pamela is also thankful for the friendships that have been formed with other SCCS moms and families. “When school started we all went to coffee together and got to know each other,” said Pamela. “We would have playdates at each other’s houses. The families at SCCS really help take care of each other.”
Prior to having children, Pamela worked at LAB as a junior and high school Math teacher. “Bringing my kids to SCCS I wondered at first how the teachers would manage their classroom; how much they would let things slide,” said Pamela. “SCCS teachers put a high priority on not only academics and what the students are learning, but what is going on in their hearts. The teachers are always watching out for what the kids are saying to each other, what they are saying about themselves and their relationship with Jesus. It’s comforting to know that our daughters are hearing the same things at school as they would hear from us at home.”