Providence Christian Academy: Celebrating 25 Years of Growth and Excellence.
by Rachael Brice
For the last twenty-five years, Providence Christian Academy has maintained the vision of its founders and its high standards of academic achievement and spiritual growth, as well as opportunities for personal growth through athletics and fine art programs.
Providence first opened its doors on September 6, 1991, to 354 students, grades K-12. Director of Communications Stephen Daniels said founding board members weren’t even sure if the school would survive two to five years.
“We didn’t have any ball fields or a gymnasium, and a few stores were still a part of the shopping center during the first few years of the school’s history,” he said. “But to be able to look back on all that God has done and see the growth of the school, not only in terms of our size but the expansion of our programs, including athletics, and drama, has been amazing.”
Providence has certainly seen enormous growth through the years. The original one-building facility has developed into a campus encompassing nearly 200,000 square feet of indoor space on thirty-five acres, and supports an enrollment of over 650 students.
This year is a big year for the school. Not only is it celebrating its 25th anniversary, but also the grand opening of the new 11-acre sports complex. An ongoing project since 2009, the $4.2 million complex boasts a multipurpose soccer/football field, a track, six tennis courts, a softball field, and a field house.
“The complex is the last piece of the puzzle,” Daniels said. “Everyone has been anxiously anticipating the completion of this project, especially our student athletes, who for twenty-five years have never been able to practice their sport or play a home game on their own turf.”
However, Providence athletics isn’t the only program to see extensive growth this year. Both the academic and fine arts sectors have also seen advancements.
“Providence is always looking for ways to enlarge its academic programs,” Daniels said. “We like to stay on the leading edge when it comes to the programs we’re offering our students, so this current school year we expanded our Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program from our high school students to our elementary and middle school students.”
STEM provides students with hands-on learning experiences and empowers students to learn the art of problem solving. Providence has even added two STEM labs for its younger students, and is the only private school in the state of Georgia with a nationally certified STEM program in place where all students have access.
Providence’s fine arts program has also greatly broadened this year by adding a mid-semester musical. The Little Mermaid was a huge hit, selling out every show. Providence even opted to enter the show for a Shuler Hensley Award. These awards are similar to Broadway’s Tony awards, but for Georgia high schools. The school was thrilled to not only receive two nominations, but two additional honorable mentions in its first year of consideration.
But perhaps Providence’s greatest expansion will be its new high school campus opening in Johns Creek in the fall of 2017. The sister campus will partner closely with the main Lilburn location with students from both campuses participating together in athletics, fine arts, retreats, and more.
“We’re proud to be extending our borders,” Daniels said. “It’s exciting that we have the opportunity to not only teach our students in Lilburn and develop and empower them to be next generation leaders, specifically in their faith; but now we have the opportunity to also do so in Johns Creek. We want all of our students, no matter their age, to be well equipped academically, but also spiritually moored for when they grow up and move out on their own.”
Amidst all that is transpiring at Providence, this is also a year of transition. This will be Dr. Jim Vaught’s last year as Head of School at Providence where he has served since the school was founded. He is being honored with the title of Headmaster Emeritus. While the school is sad to see him step aside, there is much excitement for Dr. Sean Chapman, current associate head of school, to espouse the role of Head of School on July 1st.
Providence is currently accepting applications and enrolling students for the 2016 - 2017 school year.
More information at www.providencechristianacademy.org