In 1947, author Dorothy Sayers spoke at Oxford University: “If we are to produce a society of educated people, fitted to preserve their intellectual freedom amid the complex pressures of our modern society, we must turn back the wheel of progress some four or five hundred years, to the point at which education began to lose sight of its true object…modern education concentrates on “teaching subjects,” leaving the method of thinking, arguing, and expressing one’s conclusions to be picked up by the scholar as he goes along…(classical) medieval education concentrated first on forging and learning to handle the tools of learning”.
The idea for St. Stephen’s Academy is found in the original vision statements of Evergreen Presbyterian Church, of which the school is a ministry. In 1996, a number of families influenced by the development of the classical Christian school movement began meeting to discuss the possibility of establishing a school. During 1999-2000, one Evergreen member tutored two home-schooled children. In 2000-2001, the Boden, Lewis, and Spivey families formed a home-schooling cooperative using the Evergreen building 3 mornings a week and began developing a classical Christian curriculum; during the year a fifth family joined the school.
In September 2001, the school opened in a separate facility with 13 students in grades K – 6 and 7 part-time teaching staff covering math, language arts, Latin, history, Bible, geography, science, English, and art. A formal board was formed, under the oversight of the Evergreen session, as well as a curriculum committee and administrative group.
In September 2005, the school moved again to a facility in the Beaverton Nazarene Church and opened with 53 students and 15 adults involved in its operation. This was our first year with a formal principal, Mrs. Raelene Meeker, who served until 2008. In September 2006, the school year opened with 67 students. During the 2006-2007 academic year, work began establishing the school’s own facility on land adjacent to Evergreen Presbyterian Church. In April 2007, the church session formally approved a proposal and ground breaking was held in September 2007. During this period, the school successfully obtained registration as a 501(c)3 corporation and by the time the school moved into its new facility at the beginning of 2008, there were over 80 students. The building was formally opened by Evergreen Pastor Nathan Lewis and Beaverton Mayor Rob Drake.
In the 2007-2008 academic year the board found a worthy successor to Mrs. Meeker and in April 2008 appointed Mr. John Breckenridge, formerly principal of Veritas Academy, Savannah, GA, as the school’s new principal. In the 2008-2009 school year the school grew to 103 students, obtained formal accreditation with Christian Schools International, established a formal high school program and had its first graduate.
In the last four years St. Stephen’s has maintained its focus on academic excellence in a classical Christian context. In so doing, it has sought and secured accredited status through the Northwest Accreditation Commission and the National Council for Private School Accreditation. In the spring of 2012 St. Stephen’s became the 22nd school accredited through the Association of Classical & Christian Schools. St. Stephen’s has continued to consistently grow in both number of students, reaching almost 250 in the 2016-2017 school year, as well as in the number of programs offered.
We give thanks to God for His provision in the past and are excited by the opportunity to participate in His plans for the future.