Three pastors started the Flushing Christian School in September 1950 in the hopes of offering a high-caliber Christian elementary education for Flushing-area students. And they may never have expected that the school would be celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2010 with a gala dinner at Terrace in the Park in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
But sure enough, on Saturday night about 180 alumni, teachers, administrators and current students filled the space with their stories, praise and memories of the kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school.
“It was great. It was like a big reunion. A lot of the alumni there hadn’t seen each other in many years and it was a chance for all the alumni to see each other again and reconnect,” said Laura Hahn, director development at the school. “It was an opportunity to celebrate the longevity of this private school that was started by three local pastors 60 years ago.”
The event featured a range of entertainment options, including a singing and hand-chime concert by current students, a silent auction, raffles and a PowerPoint presentation on the history of the school complete with photographs that showed the school and how it has evolved over the decades.
The school has changed greatly since it was formed shortly after World War II, with the introduction of new technology like computers and changes in teaching techniques. When it first opened with 14 pupils at the First Baptist Church of Flushing, it only served kindergarten through fourth grade and even offered horseback riding.
On the first day of that school year, the students “entered with smiling, expectant faces, bringing an apple for the teacher, a plant, some flowers and a lot of excitement,” said Ellen Keller, a former missionary-teacher in the Belgian Congo, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the school’s first administrator and teacher.
Times have changed, but the children and teachers at Flushing Christian School are still a joy, according to Hahn.
“We focus on academic excellence and we have a lot of high-caliber, hardworking teachers and students,” she said. “The teachers really care, and that’s a rarity. It’s really that good. This school is really unique. It’s just very, very solid. It’s a really good school.”
The school relocated in 1962 to 158-15 Oak Ave., then settled into its current home at Faith Hall at First Presbyterian Church of Flushing in 2007.
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cn
©2010 Community News Group
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