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History is being made as the new school year begins

Thursday, August 20, 2020, was the first day of the 2020-21 school year for Worthington Christian School. But it was not just the first day of a new school year here at Worthington Christian School; it’s the beginning of a new era in our school’s history. Lower School students will walk into fully updated and renovated classrooms and learning spaces. Upper School students will enter a brand new building. These campus changes and improvements have long been dreamt of, envisioned, and worked towards, and the time for the fruition of this vision is now

As students walk the new (to them) campuses, they will come across several spaces with special name placards located on the walls. Spaces like Founders Field and the Hogue (commons and gym) are notable named facilities at WC, and there are many more spaces now named in honor of important figures in WC’s history. WC faculty or staff members who retire with 30 years (or more) of service each have a space dedicated to their name. There are also spaces named in honor of individuals or families who have had such a significant impact on the school that it is right for us to recognize them. We want our students to know that WC has a rich legacy of sacrificial love and dedication that was provided by people who loved them, even though they may not be around the school any longer.  

This practice flows from an idea we find in Philippians 2. In writing to the church at Philippi, Paul mentions a man named Epaphroditus, who Paul recounts as giving his entire life (literally almost unto death) for the sake of the gospel. Paul then encourages the church to honor those like Epaphroditus, “For he risked his life for the work of Christ…” (Phil. 2:30, NLT).  

WC has a long history of people such as Epaphroditus. People who devoted their life’s work to see the gospel realized through our Christian education community. People who laid the spiritual and educational foundation on which current generations of students and families now stand. We receive the blessings of the work that these people have done in the past. 

Perhaps the most prominent new named facility is the J. Thomas Anglea Upper School Campus. Tom Anglea served as a teacher and later principal of Worthington Christian High School for more than twenty years, before passing away after a battle with brain cancer. A champion of WC, he was known for his faithfulness to the LORD and dedication to student success. In the words of Head of School Troy McIntosh, “Few, if any, exemplify WC better than Tom Anglea. In many ways, it was his life and work that allowed WC to get to this moment in the school’s history.” 

It is good for the institutional memory of our school to be aware that God’s goodness extends back through past generations and that the work of one generation lives on to bless future generations. Take a moment to read about those we honor through named facilities, and join us in thanking God for the rich legacy of our school and the fulfillment of God’s promises and purposes. 

Lower School Named Facilities

  • Patti Hayer Library – Patti Hayer served WC for 35 years (1982-2017), both as a fourth-grade teacher and later as the elementary librarian. Her love for and knowledge of children’s literature is legendary. She has a warm and infectious personality that drew students and adults alike to the library. Her former students remember her lessons but mostly that she cared for and loved them deeply. 
  • Judy Bechtel Classroom – Judy Bechtel joined WC as a teacher in 1982, where she taught third grade for 36 years until her retirement in 2018. A mainstay of the elementary faculty, she was exceptionally skilled in helping her third-grade students achieve academic success. Her students fondly remember her use of music as a way to learn subject matter. 
  • Julie Katzeman Classroom – Julie Katzeman taught fifth grade at WC for 29 years from 1982-2011. Upon leaving the classroom, she supervised in our after-school SACC program for four more years until 2016. Julie’s love for learning and her students was always evident. She always had a smile, a laugh, and a hug for everyone while maintaining the highest standards for learning. 

Upper School Named Facilities

  • Mike O’Neil Classroom – Mike O’Neil taught middle school social studies for 33 years (1981-2014). In addition to teaching, Mike coached baseball and basketball for many years. His students will always remember the great experiences he provided through Thanksgiving Day feasts, trips to Washington, D.C., and his love for the Cleveland Browns and Indians. He will always be known as “Mr. O.” 
  • Jane Kettering Classroom – Jane Kettering taught at WC for 35 years before retiring in 2018. She taught both on the middle school and high school campuses, both as a Bible instructor and French teacher. She brought a wealth of experience to her classroom, and her students fondly remember visiting her home to make crepes and taking trips to a local French bakery for a cultural experience. 
  • Kathy Kanzeg Classroom – Kathy Kanzeg served in numerous roles at WC for 32 years (1985-2017), including a long stint in our intervention services department. Her colleagues heap praise on her dedication to her students and her joyful personality. Her love for her students allowed her to support them in understanding difficult concepts. 
  • R. Fred Hogue Center– R. Fred Hogue was a humble and unassuming gentleman, who loved the LORD and was sensitive to the needs and ministry opportunities to advance Christian education. 
  • DeArmey Education Center – Pastor Dick DeArmey was a pastor at Grace Polaris for many years. He loved Jesus and longed to help others understand God’s will and apply God’s Word in the daily habits of life.  
  • Peggie Bell Classroom – Peggie Bell dedicated 32 years of her life to teaching at WC, from 1982-2014. While she taught various high school classes throughout her career, her primary role was that of the senior English teacher. A dedicated teacher and devoted advocate of the school, she describes her years at WC as the best of her earthly life. 
  • Ruth Beschta Classroom – Ruth Beschta dedicated 32 years of her life to teaching at WC, from 1988-2020. She taught sixth-grade science and social studies and passed on her curiosity and enthusiasm for God’s creation to her students.
  • Liz Bookheimer Office – For 37 years, Liz Bookheimer served diligently as WC’s high school secretary from 1978-2015, including working as secretary to Tom Anglea (for whom the new Upper School campus is named). She also worked in alumni relations during her long tenure at WC.
  • Mark Pifer Classroom – Mark Pifer taught at WC for 41 years, from 1978-2019. In his time at WC, Pifer worked as the school’s first computer teacher and first webmaster, but his primary role was as a high school math teacher. He was known for holding a high standard of academic rigor as well as being compassionate, encouraging, and good-humored with his students.

Athletics Named Facilities

  • Grace Light Pavilion – Grace Light Pavilion is the small structure located next to Founders Field. A group of WC supporters came together to provide a space for people to gather and fellowship. Named for two of the foundational themes of WC, a plaque commemorating the named sponsors of Grace Light Pavilion is located on the site.
  • Steve Betulius Throws Facility – Steve Betulius is a WC alumni parent, long-time coach, and currently serves on the Board of Directors. This throws facility is named after him in honor of his “unbridled love and labor for WC.”
  • Chuck Grant Boys Locker Room – Known as “Coach” by students past and present, Chuck Grant taught physical education and health at the middle and high school for 40 years (1978-2018), and built WC’s soccer program as the head coach for many of those years. His students enjoyed his enthusiasm for even the smallest of moments, from the soccer field to the gymnasium to the classroom. 
  • Marcy Jundt Girls Locker Room – Marcy Jundt began working at WC when the school opened its doors in 1973, where she stayed until the early 1990s, teaching a range of classes including preschool, kindergarten, and high school. She also pioneered girls sports at WC, coaching girls basketball, track and field, and tennis for many years. She is known by her students as being an example of a servant of God, always putting others first. 
  • Founders Field (stadium) was named in order to recognize several of the founding families who had a significant role in the development of WCS. 
  • Mike Penn Field (baseball field) Mike Penn was a long-time Spanish teacher at WC and varsity baseball coach, dedicated to maintaining impeccable fields and discipling his players. 
  • Bernie Woller Field (softball field) An elder at Grace Polaris for many years, he was instrumental in building WC’s softball field, relocating backstop, cutting the infield, installing the original fence, and lining the field before every game for several years. 
  • Bob Reither Tennis Courts He was a member of Grace Polaris and a friend of WC’s athletics, investing in the tennis teams for many years. 

A dedication service for the new facilities was originally scheduled for this September. Because of state-mandated ordinances limiting the size of gatherings, that service will be held virtually with an in-person event planned for spring 2021.

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