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Tacoma Campus Means Family

June 13, 2016
By Cascade Chronicle

The Chronicle recently asked several people, "What does the Tacoma Campus mean to you?" We received many great answers, including this one from long-time CCS parent, employee, and Cougar Football fan, Janina Patterson.

I was recently asked, “What does the Tacoma Campus mean to you?” In one word...FAMILY!  My husband, Joseph, and I have two daughters; Marina, who just graduated from Cascade Christian High School on June 3, and Millie, who is in the 4th grade at the Tacoma campus.

Our journey with Cascade Tacoma started in September 2003. Marina (and at the time, our only child) was starting kindergarten. My friend, Liz Crowell and I toured the Tacoma and Frederickson campuses. We had met when our girls were 2 years old.  I fell in love with Mrs. Shackett (who is retiring this year). When I walked onto the campus, I felt like I was home. The first people we met were the office team, LeeAnn Veltung and Julie Broberg, and principal, Bonita Cheshier. We toured the campus and before we left, the Early Learning Director, Karen Curtiss (who is now at CCS Puyallup ELC) was in the office and asked if she could pray for us. She prayed, not that we would come to CCS, but that God would guide us to the best school for our kids to grow. I was sold! The Kindergarten team, Mrs. Shackett and Mrs. Dahl, were so loving, caring, compassionate, and above all, patient. Even through financial struggles, we decided we would do whatever it took to stay. Thank God for Tuition Assistance and the generous donors who make it possible for students to have a Christian education.

My mom passed away three weeks before Marina graduated from Kindergarten. My Cascade Christian FAMILY was so supportive, and prayed with me and helped Marina through it.

A few years later, Marina was in second grade, and had been asking for a baby sister. We had been trying for years. But after four miscarriages, we didn't think it was possible. I had been subbing in the office for a few years and one day, when I was working in the office, Verna Snyder (the lunch cook) and I got to talking about the struggles of having another child. She shared a prayer she had prayed for her second child, and then she prayed that prayer with me. A few weeks later, I was pregnant. The pregnancy was difficult and when I was sent to the hospital at 29 weeks, my CCS FAMILY was there praying for me and Millie. Millie came 11 weeks early, and only weighed 2 pounds, 14 ounces, but miraculously, she was healthy. My FAMILY supported Marina at school and kept our family in prayer.

As Marina entered the fourth grade, a position became open in the office. I worked there with Heidi before she moved to the office at Frederickson, and I took over at Tacoma (the Early Learning side). Becoming close friends with my office buddy, LeeAnn, has been a true blessing. I've met so many lifelong friends. Kim Davis, who was my boss when I started working there, has become one of my best friends. Liz, who is also Millie's Godmother also has subbed as a teacher, tutor and was a TA/sub this year.

Millie started her journey at the Tacoma campus in the Toddler class, and is now in fourth grade. Having the Tacoma Campus consolidated into the other campuses has been the hardest on her. She asked if having a bake sale or a yard sale and giving all the money would help keep it open. I told her, "Sometimes, God has different plans for us. Different paths. We have to trust that God knows what's best and we need to follow where he wants us to move."  For our family, that move will take us to the Frederickson campus starting in September. We will always have Tacoma in our hearts, but we are excited about our new journey and feel blessed that we will stay with this Cascade FAMILY.

For more CCS Tacoma Campus reflections, and photos of the "Wrap it Up!" Celebrations, watch for the next issue of the Cascade Chronicle in your mailbox this summer!