History

Blackhawk Christian School

Historical Overview

1973 - present

Information taken from “A Twentieth Anniversary History”, by Jack E. (Gene) Guthrie in 1993,

current historical documents and input from Happy Walts and Aida Toffolo.

 

1973-74 (Year 1)

  • Established by David Jeremiah
  • Opened w/ 33 students and ended year w/ 39 students
  • Grades PK-4 
  • First teachers: Aida Toffolo & Happy Walts (Full-time); Cindy Patten & Lois Ann Mills (Part-time)
  • Promotion: from the pulpit, local newspapers, mall exhibits, posters, and networking
  • Goal to become financially self-sustaining and not a drain on the church budget
  • Steering Committee: David Jeremiah and Bill Nank (management experience at Magnavox)
  • Designed to be governed by a board (which was established.)
  • Budget: approximately $50,000.

 

Classroom 1973-74

1974-75 (Year 2)

  • Began the year with 112 students
  • Added 5th & 6th grades with a total of 6 teachers
  • School Colors: Red and White
  • Pastor Jeremiah began / coached the basketball team, grades 4-5-6 – Record 2-2  
  • First track meet with Fort Wayne Christian - won by a “landslide”

 

Classroom 1975-76

1975-76 (Year 3)

  • 163 students
  • Added 7th grade and had a total of 9 staff
  • New construction included the gymnasium and library (NC): played BB in the gym this year
  • First Campbell Soup Label drive
  • Began a soccer team, two boys basketball teams, girls and boys track teams
  • Began Chess club
  • First all school field day.
  • First end of the year awards program
  • Publicity campaigns with posters, five billboards, radio and newspaper ads, and mall displays
  • Dress code was conservative with dresses for girls and shirts with collars for boys, as well as, nice pants or non-faded jeans for boys.
 
Miss Walts

1976-77 (Year 4)

  • 193 students
  • Added 8th grade and had a total of 12 staff with 1 staff member being part time principal
  • Added first gym teacher 
  • Held 3 school skating parties
  • Certified by the State of Indiana (grades K-8th)
  • Expanded sports programs to include soccer, both girls and boys BB, girls volleyball team, as well as track teams.
  • First Athletic awards banquet in March
  • Changed school colors to Blue and Gold. Added nickname: The Braves. Mascot: Indian Warrior. 

 Large Group

1977-78 (Year 5)

  • 216 students enrolled PK-9
  • Added 9th grade
  • Sound proofed some of the classrooms
  • Hired a full time administrator (Mr. Moran)  beginning in September. 
  • Set the hours at 8:15a – 3:00p
  • Set class size limit of 25 for grades k-2nd and 28 for 3rd -12th. 

Aerial View

1978-79 (Year 6)

  • Added 10th grade

 

1979-80 (Year 7)

  • Added 11th grade
  • Aida resigned to begin a Christian school at Immanuel. She stayed there until 1982 
  • Hired Steve Longbrake: administrative assistant to Mr. Moran and teach  

 

1980-81 (Year 8)

  • Added 12th grade: First class graduates from BCS - Class of 1981
  • 302 students enrolled
  • Introduced the PTF (parent teacher fellowship)
  • Harvester pulls out of Fort Wayne, enrollment begins to drop creating a $150,000 deficit
  • The Living Christmas Tree Benefit Dinner established
  • The magazine sale fundraiser began
  • Pre-K program discontinued - mostly because of space
  • Mr. Moran resigns, Mr. Longbrake takes over as administrator

 

1981-82 (Year 9)

  • Enrollment drops to 218 (much talk of a poor economy as Harvester leaves area)
  • BCS benefited from the stability of church budget and a stable board 
  • Facilities paid by the church, as well as, maintenance and utilities 
  • Dave Jeremiah leaves.
  • Steve Longbrake takes on more responsibility and leadership 
  • Drama department begins
  • Sports conference formed of similar size schools.

 

1982-83 (Year 10)

  • 261 students enrolled
  • Miss Toffolo returns to teach 4th grade and be Elementary Principal
  • Seeks Indiana State accreditation for grades 9-12. 

 

1983-84 (Year 11)

  • 277 students enrolled

 

1984-85 (Year 12)

  • 286 students enrolled
  • Reduced fundraisers and focused on a few major ones
  • Jogathon began. 

 

1985-86 (Year 13)

  • Approximately 286 students enrolled

 

1986-87 (Year 14)

  • Named by ACSI one of five model Christian schools, excelling in spiritual and academic areas 
  • First BCS graduate to return as teacher, Pam Zolman sixth grade

 

1987-88 (Year 15)

  • Begin double tracking: Pam (Zolman) Sharp teaches 3rd / 4th grade split
  • New building plans begin for 7-12 on worship center side.

 

1988-89 (Year 16)

  • Enrollment 359

 

1989-90 (Year 17)

  • Enrollment 359

 

1990-91 (Year 18)

  • Enrollment 414

 

1991-92 (Year 19)

  • Enrollment 416

 

1992 Miss Walts' Class

1992-93 (Year 20)

  • Enrollment 440
  • High school addition opens (March 1993) 

 

1992 Miss Toffolo's Class

1993-94 (Year 21)

  • Enrollment is 476 

 


Enrollment is 509
1994-95 (Year 22)

 

1995-96 (Year 23)

  • Enrollment is 524

 

Mrs Kowatch and Mrs Sharp

1996-97 (Year 24)

  • Enrollment is 560

 

1997-98 (Year 25)

  • Enrollment is 619

 

1998-99 (Year 26)

  • Enrollment is 655
 

1999-2000 (Year 27)

  • Enrollment approximately 649
  • Dress code is discussed and discussed and discussed…….over the years.
  • Aida Toffolo retires

 

2000-01 (Year 28)

  • Enrollment approximately 695 
  • Security policy put in place.

 

2001-02 (Year 29)

  • Approximate enrollment 657
  • BCS Parent Survey conducted
  • Steve Longbrake, administrator, resigns 

 

Mr Kenner 2001

 


2002-03
(Year 30) 

  • Sam Barfell hired as superintendent
  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 669
  • Approximate EC enrollment 22
  • Changed mascot to drop “Loco Joe,” but kept Braves.
  • Golf fundraiser

 

2003-04 (Year 31)

  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 687
  • Approximate EC enrollment 46
  • Begin ISTEP testing all grades 7-10.
  • Sectional Champions – Boy’s Basketball!

 

2004-05 (Year 32)

  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 699
  • Approximate EC enrollment 60
  • Safety stickers and sign in required by all guests to school.
  • Facts tuition Management payment program
  • PK becomes part of school again
  • 1st woman on school board (Sherry Maurizi)
  • Pursuing ACSI accreditation.
  • BCS Sunday (?) began
  • Considering (Motion to move towards) triple tracking
  • New BCS Logo

 

2005-06 (Year 33)

  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 682
  • Approximate EC enrollment 63
  • Girls’ tennis begins.
  • Costa Rica Missions Trip
  • Begin process of full day kindergarten

 

2006-07 (Year 34)

  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 683
  • Approximate EC enrollment 100
  • Sam Barfell, superintendent, resigns

 

2007-08 (Year 35)

  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 642
  • Approximate EC enrollment 34
  • Larry Wilhite, Elementary and Tom Hopewell, Secondary-last year as Principals

 

Mrs. Barbieri

2008-09 (Year 36)

  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 645
  • Approximate EC enrollment 67
  • Bill Hartman hired as lead Administrator (superintendent)
  • Happy Walts becomes Elementary Principal
  • BCS constitution changed to permit up to two non-BM members on school board
  • Trent Lehman hired as Junior / Senior High Principal

 

2009-10 (Year 37)

  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 630
  • Approximate EC enrollment 86
  • Linda Pearson hired as Junior / Senior High Principal

 

2010-11 (Year 38)

  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 644
  • Approximate EC enrollment 90
  • Happy Walts retires 12/31/2010
  • Tim Wiegand hired as Elementary Principal
  • Transitioned from Junior High to Middle School Model
  • Four core teachers for Middle School Program and Middle School moved to 2nd Floor SC 

 

2011-12 (Year 39)

  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 669
  • Approximate EC enrollment 101
  • Technology/Mac Book One-to-One Initiative 9-12th
  • BCS Foundation established for the purpose of reNew Upscale Resale Store to benefit BCS
  • BCS constitution changed to permit up to three non-BM members on school board
  • BCS Board approves participation in the Indiana School Choice Program School Vouchers & SGO’s

 

2012-13 (Year 40)

  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 700
  • Approximate EC enrollment 112
  • Bill Hartman, Lead Administrator, resigns/retires after 5 years
  • Linda Pearson hired as Lead Administrator
  • Mark Harmon hired as Middle / High School Principal
  • Rebranding including new BCS Logo, tagline, and mission statement
  • Development Department established
  • Update of North Campus – outside paint and signage
  • Baseball Dugouts and field enhancements SC
  • EC receives a playground at west end of church SC
  • New signage for SC
  • 7-12 offered hot lunch for the time (K-12 uses Creative Dining in partnership with Concordia High School)
  • Full-time Finance Director hired (Steve Wild)
  • High School builds master schedule to accommodate three tracks of each grade

 

Grand Marshalls of Jogathon

2013-14 (Year 41)

  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 723
  • Approximate EC enrollment 144
  • North Land Property donated to Blackhawk Ministries for 9-12 School
  • Hired True North Consultants to develop plan for North Land Property
  • 11 Snow Days—IDOE waived 2 of 11
  • eWalk--new teacher evaluation program established

 

2014-15 (Year 42)

  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 713
  • EC approximate enrollment 168
  • North Land Property Paused
  • Development redesigned
  • Fundraiser for North Campus Renovation & Roof
  • Renovation of North Campus second floor, Chapel, & Roof completed in summer
  • SC Commons updated paint and school logo
  • Hosted ACSI ConNexus

 

2015-2016 (Year 43)

  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 724
  • EC approximate enrollment 190
  • Annual Fund Established
  • Triple tracked Kindergarten
  • Renovation of NC Elementary Office and Entrance
  • BCS App launched
  • eLearning utilized on actual weather day
  • Hosted ACSI ConNexus for second year
  • Remodeled North Campus Lobby
  • Constitution / Board Governance Policy changed to allow a member of BHM be the Chairperson of the BCS Board with an Elder Board Representation on the BCS Board

 

2016-2017 (Year 44)

  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 744
  • EC approximate enrollment 192
  • BHM hired a new senior pastor, Pastor Kevin Rivers
  • Hired a Primary Principal
  • Triple tracked K-First Grade
  • School Messenger launched
  • eLearning utilized on actual weather day
  • Our Future Together Capital Campaign Launched
  • Began the building of additional 6 classrooms, auxiliary gym, and fully equipped kitchen

 

Indiana Birthday

2017-2018 (Year 45)

  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 769
  • EC approximate enrollment 157
  • Triple tracked K-2nd Grade
  • eLearning continues to be utilized
  • Construction continues of additional 6 classrooms, auxiliary gym, and fully equipped kitchen
  • Preschool Academy remodel begins for completion for 2018-19
  • Reorganized and renamed schools
    1. Preschool Academy Ages 3-5
    2. Primary School  Grades K-1
    3. Intermediate School  Grades 2-6
    4. Secondary School  Grades 7-12
  • Lead Administrator renamed to Head of Schools
  • Our Future Together Capital campaign pledges - $1,000,000
  • Intermediate Principal, Tim Wiegand leaves position
  • Intermediate Principal, Doug Pickett hired
  • Head of Schools, Linda Pearson, begins shared responsibility with BHM
  • We applied for SEVIS and were approved
  • Sought and approved for accreditation with ACSI
  • Continued with accreditation from State of Indiana
  • School Safety processes are continually being reviewed and modifications are made
  • Indiana graduation requirements change that will affect the class of 2023; SAT & ACT will be used for college ready benchmarks and project based, service based, and work based options including an internship of community service requirement

 

2018-2019 (Year 46)

  • Approximate K-12 enrollment 775
  • Preschool Academy approximate enrollment 116
  • Triple tracked K-3rd Grade
  • eLearning continues to be utilized
  • Preschool Academy begins first year under new structure
  • Continuing process with accreditation with ACSI and State of Indiana
  • School Safety – Continued enhanced criminal background checking and began the process to implement Safe Visitor in 2019-2020.
  • Koontz, the therapy dog, was introduced and welcomed to BCS
  • Transportation Plan was voted on and approved for 2019-2020 from Huntington area

 

Dr Jeremiah Miss Walts Miss Toffolo 2019

2019-2020 (Year 47)

  • Approximately K-12 enrollment 818
  • Preschool Academy approximate enrollment 124
  • Triple-tracked through Grade 4.
  • Linda Pearson leaves Head of Schools position and moves to Blackhawk Ministries
  • Kevin Newbry hired as the next Head of Schools
  • The BCS Board voted for BCS to change the version of the Bible we are using from NIV to ESV for the 2020-21 school year
  • Blackhawk Ministries celebrated its 50th anniversary
  • Continuing process with accreditation with ACSI and State of Indiana
  • COVID-19 affects Indiana Schools
  • Distance Learning for BCS began March 13, 2020