ONE MISSION. ONE FAMILY.
Join us as we celebrate this amazing milestone. It's been an indescribable journey, one that has only been possible because of the hand of God. We honor Him, and thank Him for sustaining our school through these 50 years. And we also thank our families, alumni, staff, students, and our friends for also helping make the school what it is today.
If you have been involved with the school during the past 50 years, as a student, teacher, employee or board member and have yet to connect with us, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. There are a lot of great things happening at our school, and we want you to get involved!
- 50th Anniversary Video
- SCS Throughout the Years
- History of SCS
- Yearbook Collection
- Invest in SCS!
- Upcoming Events
The following was written by SCS co-founder, Mr. Marshall D. Bonney.
For years, the Free Methodist Mission had operated a little, one room school in Santiago following a US Curriculum. By the mid 1960s it became apparent that our little "Kalvert School" would not be able to handle the influx of potential students whose parents would be wanting a US type education for their kids."
A dozen enterprises were springing up in Santiago which brought scores of Americans, Canadians and Europeans to the immediate area, most of whom had school age children. Several of us realized that we either start a Christian School or somebody else would start who knows what for these kids!
An ad hoc group met in Santiago Spring 1967, as I recall, to address the question: "Should we start a Christian Day School in Santiago with an American Curriculum?" Persons present at that meeting were: Dr. Al Anderson, a US professor at the newly minted Catholic University in Santiago. He and his wife had 3 school age children. They were from a Friends Church in Ohio. Dan and Doris Wiebe were Canadians with a Prairie Bible School background. Presently serving as missionaries in La Vega some 20 miles east of Santiago. Nancy and Paul Potter, Southern Baptist Missionaries attended.
It was quickly agreed that we should start an evangelical day school immediately, that it should be independent of any particular mission or church but that it should be solidly evangelical in nature. That board members would serve without pay, that all financial balances above expenses (if there ever were such) would be invested back into the school and that to be a board member, one had to be a member in good standing of an Evangelical Church or Mission. One additional decision which had far reaching implications in the future was that new members to serve on the board would be recruited and named by the Board itself. The Ad Hoc Committee became the Board of Directors that very day.
Several standing committees were formed at that first meeting. We needed a constitution for incorporating purposes under the laws of the Dominican Republic. So, there was a constitutional committee named. A finance committee was appointed to figure out how we would get this school going with no backing from any outside or even local group. And we had to have an academic committee to decide on curriculum, where to get materials, where we would get teachers and related challenges. The finance people worked on property issues as well.
We flew into the jobs at hand. Within a relatively short time (really, in retrospect, an amazingly short time which we all felt was the result of the hand of God working in our behalf) we were granted incorporation rights under the legal requirements of the D. R. We contacted and were given the "blessing" of the Dept. of Education in the Capital to operate an "American Type" school in the country. Classroom space was found (even one such classroom was the garage of the Free Methodist Mission owned house on the corner of the Instituto Campus) and initial contacts were made to buy 20 acres of land about 3 miles east of Santiago city limits.
I do not recall our first year enrollment at the Santiago Christian School ( Sept. 1967-May 1968) it must have been around 60 or so. The Instituto Evangelico was especially helpful to our SCS those first years. On unused portions of their campus, they allowed our SCS Board to build simple, but adequate classrooms with the promise they would be "given" to the I. E. when the SCS moved to its own campus. We rented a narrow piece of land to the east of the I. E. Campus which would give us access to a new street just put in by the city for our main entrance to our little "complex.
Our commitment to naming our own Board members soon faced a stiff challenge. A dam building group based in Utah came to town to work on a dam not too far from Santiago. That group sent some 35 students our way! We certainly could use the tuition! But, by the second year they were demanding Board representation and that Board members be elected by the parents. Dan Wiebe and I visited their Dominican Headquarters. Our answer was "No". Their answer was, "Then we go". Which they did. We survived. A few if the "dam related" parents sent their kids back to SCS on their own.
From the earliest days, it was pay as we go. All expenses including land purchases, building construction as well as operating budgets were covered by tuition from students. Missionary Kids got a 25% discount. Our teachers the first years were mainly missionary wives who had teaching credentials. Then missionary agencies such as the Free Methodist Visa Program began to help us recruit candidates in the US and Canada. Some Dominican teachers were hired as well.
Students were a cross section of American, British, Canadian, German, French and Dominican parentage. Most non-Dominican parents were in the Santiago area working at the new Agricultural School at La Heradura (heavily assisted by Texas A and M), at the brand new Catholic University (strongly encouraged by Notre Dame and St Louis Universities) on major public construction projects such as the hydro electric project not far from Santiago and from a new US Consular Office established in Santiago. Dominican students in those early days came mostly from sons and daughters of the large factory owners in and around Santiago. For example, the Bermudez kids came to our school, the Leon-Jimenez family sent their kids. And then a little late, the Portelas enrolled their kids.
Dan Wiebe took the leadership role in obtaining land for the SCS Campus. We were able to purchase about 20 acres east of town behind the Army Fortaleza for the Northern Area. Later, about 20 more acres were added to the property from a Dominican land owner in the immediate area who "gave" the land in exchange for free tuition for several grand kids for several years. I believe his name was Sr. Checo. He had a large tile and concrete block factory in Santiago.
Volunteer construction teams from the USA helped build some of the buildings on the SCS campus. Most, however, in the early years were built by Julio Guzman and his crew, the same man I had used so much at the Instituto Evangelico. Again, we built as the money was available through the tuition charges. As far as I can recall, we never took out a loan for anything.
In 2006, Ruth and I had a chance to revisit the Santiago Christian School. The enrollment at the time of our visit was between 500 and 600. Many new buildings were in evidence. One of the newer ones was an auditorium which parents and former parents and former students had donated to the school. It was moving for us to see this kind of loyalty. Also, very satisfying to us was the fact that chapels are still held, week-long Spiritual Life events are scheduled on an annual basis and membership on the Board is still limited to born-again Christians. We were treated as if we were visiting "royalty". There were a few around the school with whom we had worked years before but most had only "heard" about the Bonneys and the other founders.
How good it was to see that the school now had a computer lab, science labs and lots of equipment. The fact that budget surpluses were always reinvested in the school itself was much in evidence. All that Ruth and I saw and felt on campus that day in 2006 reinforced our conviction that back in 1967 when we drew up the constitution and the by-laws for the SCS we "did the right thing" with the Lord's help.
So much history and stories to tell. We know that each student life is its own world, in addition to the stories of our beloved teachers and other staff members. Year after year we do our best in trying to capture those essential moments that make all of our lives feel special.
Our yearbooks date back to the 1987-88 school year. It wouldn't be a celebration without you having the ability to revisit and remember all these wonderful years of SCS.
Note: Because of the file size for each pdf, it is recommended to use WIFI for viewing.
All of the yearbooks above are property of SCS. Unauthorized use of their content is strictly prohibited. Years without a yearbook will be added in the future.
Invest in SCS
From the Dominican Republic
Most Dominican residents prefer to make gifts directly to "Santiago Christian School." Every peso and every non-cash gift is carefully invested into the life of the school, ensuring that SCS students are well-equipped to lead lives marked by leadership and service.
From the United States
You may make your gift to "Santiago Christian School Foundation", a 501 [c] 3 tax-exempt organization. This foundation is dedicated to Shaping the Lives of those who will Shape the Nation at SCS. Board members are W. Benjamin Hoffman (Chairman), Glenn Boyd, David Blossom, Priscilla Stothers, Rich Vallette, David Schwulst, John Webb, Robert Simrak, and Brian Berman. The foundation's tax ID number is 36-4385849.
Give to Partner Schools
Santiago Christian School is doing its part to end cycles of corruption and poverty in the Dominican Republic through the work of the Santiago Institute. Santiago Institute trains leaders who are personas integras and forges strategic relationships with poorer schools. When SCS students, staff, parents and friends support SCS partner schools, they contribute to the nation-shaping work to which is our vision.
From the Dominican Republic
“Shaping the Lives Foundation” is a Dominican foundation approved to receive donations and make in-kind distributions to support needy schools in the Dominican Republic. Wayne Lynch, Jean Hache, Huberto Perez, Jim Vincent, and Seth Cohen manage the fund. Eduardo Trueba functions as the fund's legal counsel. Any SCS board member can receive gifts in pesos to help give hope to an SCS partner school. The foundation's RNC is 4-30-14387-1.
From the United States
The Santiago Christian School Foundation is approved to receive donations to support needy schools in the Dominican Republic.