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.”
St. Stephen’s Academy grew out of the vision statement of Evergreen Presbyterian Church (PCA), of which the school is a ministry. In 1996, several families, inspired by the growing classical Christian education 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, four families formed a homeschooling cooperative using the Evergreen building three mornings a week and began developing a curriculum; during that school year a fifth family joined. From these modest beginnings, the foundations for St. Stephen’s Academy were laid.
In September 2001, St. Stephen’s started the year 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, along with a curriculum committee and administrative positions.
In September 2005, the growing school moved again, this time to Beaverton Nazarene Church, and opened with 53 students and 15 staff involved in its operation. This was the school’s first year with a formal principal, Mrs. Raelene Meeker, who served until 2008.
During the 2006-2007 academic year, work began to build the school’s own facility on land adjacent to Evergreen Presbyterian Church on the corner of Hart and Hall in Beaverton. In April 2007, the church formally approved a proposal to build and a groundbreaking ceremony was held in September 2007. During this period, the school successfully obtained registration as an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, and by the time the school moved into its new facility at the beginning of 2008, more than 80 students were enrolled. The building was formally opened by Evergreen Pastor Nathan Lewis and Beaverton Mayor Rob Drake.
In April 2008, the board appointed Mr. John Breckenridge, formerly principal of Veritas Academy in Savannah, GA, as the school’s new principal. With 103 students enrolled, St. Stephen’s sought and obtained formal accreditation with Christian Schools International and established a high school program with its first graduate.
By 2015, St. Stephen’s had outgrown its Beaverton campus. The board made the decision to lease classroom space from Lake Bible Church in Lake Oswego, which has since been home to our 6th-12th grade classes.
In 2018, Mr. Breckenridge and his family returned to Georgia, and the board appointed Mr. Travis Koch to be the new Headmaster of St. Stephen’s Academy.
Throughout its growth, St. Stephen’s has maintained its focus on academic excellence in a classical Christian context. In so doing, it 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 (ACCS). St. Stephen’s has continued to develop quality faculty and programs, with average enrollment at 265 in recent years. We give thanks to God for His provision in the past and are excited by the opportunity to participate in His plans for our future.