I was eager to move into the role of Chief Advancement Officer at Bellevue Christian because I view my task as telling the story of our school. Our school’s story is rich, filled with colorful characters and plot twists, with conflict and triumph, with heroes and (yes) villains. The story of Bellevue Christian is complex, over seventy years of practical learning and discipleship built on a strong foundation of mission, vision, and philosophy. We strive to put language to the unique experience of being a student (or teacher, or parent, or alumnus) at Bellevue Christian. What is it about this place, despite its imperfections, that makes it such strong community and such a compelling backdrop for so many personal stories?
In the Advancement Office, our task is to tell that story in a way that compels action, drawing in prospective families who desire Christian education, inspiring current families to affirm the value of a diverse Christian community, and inviting donors to support our mission and our important role in the broader regional conversation around Christianity’s place in society.
In about a week, you will find a letter in your mailbox. That letter asks for your support of the autumn drive of the Founders’ Fund. I thank you in advance for reading the letter and prayerfully considering a contribution. Along with yearly Auction and our elementary Jog-A-Thon (which will, God-willing, both occur this spring), the Founders’ Fund is a critical channel of support for the mission of BCS. The Founders’ Fund supports an array of budgetary activities at Bellevue Christian and is the most accessible form of support for current families, employees, alumni and alumni parents. All are invited to participate and, indeed, broad participation from all constituent groups is an indication of healthy school culture. More than a specific dollar amount, I ask each of you to consider participating at level appropriate to your means in support of the students, teachers, and mission of Bellevue Christian School.
New Family “Receptions” – but ALL are welcome!
Given the school’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and our continued strong reputation, enrollment at Bellevue Christian is very healthy. We have enrolled a record number of new families and are experiencing waitlists at most grade levels. This wonderful development presents the challenge of enfolding so many new families and helping them understand our culture as an independent Christian school. In order to accomplish this task, and to face the reality of group gatherings during this time, school leadership will be recording a presentation and discussion of important information related to Bellevue Christian’s philosophy, operations and governance. It is expected that all new families view this video presentation and attend a follow-up video discussion prior to re-enrollment in January. Current families are also invited to view this presentation and join a follow-up discussion. More information about this video will be coming soon.
At this time, we are moving ahead with plans for our yearly Auction in March. Unsure of the public health situation so far in the future, we are working on parallel models of an in-person event, a hybrid event, or a fully-remote event. After the remarkable success of our Auction last year (over $500,000 raised!), I am confident our community will once again rally together in support of our mission. In addition, we are hoping to have our yearly Jog-A-Thon events on our elementary campuses in May. These events are wonderful opportunities to celebrate our culture, have fun, and provide an opportunity to support students through financial pledges tied to a joyous, campus-specific celebration. While we were unable to hold our annual Carnival this fall, we are looking forward to holding other community culture-building events later this spring.
A Strong Community
No doubt about it: our community is strong and healthy. Bellevue Christian alumni and families routinely stay in touch with their friends, teachers, and coaches. As an alumnus, I understand this as well as anyone. The BCS story is my story. I am a product its plot and themes. As Chief Advancement Officer, I am excited to tell our story well and to tell it often. I want prospective families to be excited for the opportunities that await their child. I want current students and families to be proud to talk about what’s going on at school. I want alumni and their parents to remain connected not just to each other, but also to the school and to see how the mission and culture of the school laid groundwork for the strong connections they feel with other families. You will hear this story more frequently in the future. We will increase our connections with current families. We will be re-imagining the Viking View, our school magazine. We will be communicating more with our alumni and alumni parents. We look forward to telling the wonderful story of Bellevue Christian’s past, present, and future.