WHY CHRISTIAN EDUCATION?
KATHY (CLAWSON) STRZYZYKOWSKI (CLASS OF 2004)
Twenty-six years ago, my mom put me on the school bus with my big sister Elizabeth for my first day of Kindergarten. Thirteen years later, I successfully graduated form the Copper Country Christian School. Not only did I grow intellectually and physically, but more importantly I grew spiritually. I have vivid memories of my teachers throughout the years at CCCS praying with us, teaching us, and comforting us with truth about God and His word.
I remember in sixth grade, one of my teachers taught us about how we are like clay in the Potter’s hands. We had to write a reflection paper about this concept, and I remember deciding that this was my desire, to be molded by God into His likeness. I looked around at my classmates and knew that some of them didn’t share the same spiritual desires I did. I realized that just because we were at a Christian school didn’t mean that all of us were Christ-followers.
While I believe that God is the one who drew my heart to Him, I know that He used CCCS to shape me and mold me to be more like Him. I was protected from many temptations, coarse language, and hurtful behaviors that other children encounter during their school years. Because of this, I was able to focus on academics, friendships, and spiritual growth without as many distractions.
I have had points in my life when I wished I was not so sheltered as a child, but now that I am an adult, I have realized how blessed I am to have had that opportunity to grow and develop in a Christian environment. I am a social worker, and I now have plenty of opportunities to learn about the pain and brokenness in the world. I know that my Christian upbringing influenced me to choose to attend Bible college, to seek out Bible-believing churches wherever I live, to find strong Christian friends, and to wait for godly husband to marry.
As you consider whether it is worth your financial investment to pay for your child (or another person’s child) to attend CCCS, I hope that you will consider the tremendous impact a Christian education and environment could have on a child. Certainly, God is the one who changes hearts, but oftentimes, He uses other people and circumstances to continue His work.
Thank you for sacrificing so children can learn and grow in a godly environment!
STEPHEN ANDERSON (CLASS OF 2006)
I wouldn’t trade my time at the Copper Country Christian School for anything. My parents, Ted and Karla Anderson, sacrificed so much to send my brother Nathan (Class of 2008) and I to CCCS K-12, and I can’t express how grateful I am.
I’ve heard every argument under the sun for why parents choose to send their kids to public schools, and it’s ultimately a decision between them and God, but my case in favor of Christian education boils down to this: You only get one chance to train up a child in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6).
The foundation I received at the Christian School was rock solid — and that extends far beyond just Bible classes. In reality, every school subject is a reflection of God — science studying His creation, mathematics studying His order, history studying, well His story! Public education (increasingly) ignores the foundation it’s all built on, leaving a gaping worldview hole that even the best-intentioned parents and churches have a hard time filling.
In seventh grade, I had four classmates. In eighth, I was the only one left, and it remained that way through high school. I saw lots of parents pull their students from CCCS just before high school, perhaps because they thought they were prepared to witness in the public school environment. I’ve seen mixed results as far as outcomes go. That could be said to a lesser degree for graduates as well, but there’s no denying that a Christian high school education proved valuable to me.
One of the most common reasons parents switch their kids to a public school is for sports. As a natural athlete, there were times I wished I had more athletic options and more public recognition of my achievements, but looking back I loved the soccer and basketball teams I was on, and I recognize how fleeting public high school sports accomplishments are (I covered Copper Country sports for 2.5 years for the Daily Mining Gazette after college). What’s more important: a few varsity letters or a vibrant faith?
When I graduated CCCS, I pursued and received a bachelor’s degree in scientific and technical communication from Michigan Tech. I was extensively involved in extracurricular activities, namely the student newspaper in which a vast majority of my peers were atheists or agnostics.
It was honestly in that secular college environment that I made my faith my own — as every high school graduate ultimately has to do — but I know the foundation I got at CCCS prepared me well. Educationally, I got a 29 on the ACT and was amply prepared for the rigors of college. Spiritually, I had a vast well of knowledge and experiences to draw upon.
If I could recommend one area of potential growth at CCCS, based on what I experienced in college, it would be offering a Christian apologetics course during students’ senior year. I became fascinated with apologetics as I interacted with my college friends who were somewhat hostile to the faith, and more training on interacting in that context would have been beneficial. If I still lived there (my family is now in Green Bay, WI), I would love to volunteer teach such a class. As it is, the biggest contribution I can give is prayer, and I will continue to lift up CCCS in my prayers!
Perhaps the biggest testimonial I can give to the impact CCCS has had on me is my passion to give my own kids (a 2-year-old son, and a baby girl due Jan. 2017) a similar education at Providence Academy here in Green Bay and to invest all I can in the school here. I loved everything about my Christian School education. My wife Kelsey disliked a lot about her public education. Ultimately, after parents living lives that model Christ, I think a Christian education is the most valuable investment a Christian parent can make.