I thought I would share a bit of the back story about AKCS that no one other than Kathy would know. Most people think that the school had its beginnings in 1987 or perhaps the fall of 1986 when we began to meet with parents to discuss the idea.
It actually had its roots much earlier, ten years earlier. In 1977, shortly after my first son was born, I came across a new curriculum: Alpha-Omega Publications. Despite its flaws in implementation, I haven’t seen a curriculum with a better articulated view of Christian education. They promoted a new way of thinking about it that was different from group taught or individualized instruction. They called it “personalized”, and as I read through the material, I had this sense that one day I would use it to start a school.
At the time, I was starting my first teaching job at the Saskatoon Region Community College, and although it certainly wasn’t a Christian institution, I was encouraged to experiment and apply some of my philosophy in the classroom. The fact that I had students functioning between grades five through eight in one classroom and the fact that new students were admitted every two weeks as others graduated meant that I had to have a curriculum that was student-centered. That is where I learned about mastery learning, and the idea of teaching students instead of teaching subjects. Those two concepts would become foundational to the philosophy of AKCS.
About five years later, we moved to Alberta and I became principal of Cremona Koinonia Christian School. This school, “as it so happened,” used the AOP curriculum, and I got to see first hand how this approach could work. However, now my skills were stretched even further as I had grades three through twelve in one classroom. Those were challenging years filled with growth, and filled with prayer, and with fasting. When I left, I weighed 167 pounds! I was probably in the best spiritual and physical shape of my life when I started teaching at Heritage in 1985. Within weeks of my starting that new position, God began speaking to me about starting a school in Airdrie, and two years later it became a reality.
There were struggles getting started and numerous struggles along the way over the twenty years that I was principal. However, I knew then and know now that this is a work of God. Therefore, I know that He will continue to maintain it through this present crisis.
This morning, in church, I felt a real sense of His hand upon AKCS and gave an audible chuckle at the thought of what He is about to do in the next 24 hours. It gave me joy to know that I was in the midst of what He is doing there once again by supporting this next effort. It will be exciting for all of us to see how He has provided $750,000 in a week, but it will be most exciting for those who are part of it. There is still time for you to pray and hear His call to participate. If He is calling you to step up, then do so now. Tomorrow will be fun for all of us who care about AKCS, but the excitement of those in the stands is never equal to the satisfaction of those on the field. J