CCS Family Story: Well Worth the Opportunity for the Taylors
Well before it was time to enroll their first-born in Kindergarten, Shawn and Cristi Taylor prayed and talked with many people who had chosen private education. With all the wisdom they gathered, one thing rang true: that the sacrifice of finances and time was well worth the opportunity to immerse their children in an education based on biblical truth. Several years later, there are three: Zack is in fourth grade, Josh is in third, and Nathan will be a Kindergartner in the fall.
"Teaching our kids a biblical worldview in a consistent way, outside of our home as well as at home, was very important,” Cristi Taylor explained. “We surely did not want to have to un-teach and reteach what was taught, and that feat seemed overwhelming and impossible at a certain level. We had made a decision to homeschool, but that was before our second son was born, and we realized God had something else for our family."
The Taylors had heard of Cascade Christian well before getting a chance to be part of it. "I remember when I was in a local public school, hearing about kids transferring (to CCS), and I thought it was an academic prep school for privileged Christian kids," Cristi explained. "Later, my best friend student-taught at the high school, and early in our marriage, we knew families with kids at the elementary. Also, my sister participated in sports at a Christian school that competed against Cascade Christian. Watching the character development of the CCS students also drew us to Cascade Christian."
She said those interactions gave them a positive impression of what CCS was about, so that when it came to the time to make a decision, it really was an easy one. They very much felt like God was pointing them to that decision.
"We have come back year after year for the same reasons we initially came, and so much more," Cristi said. "We have been very pleased with the quality of education and the creative ways they teach and demonstrate biblical values and life skills - especially communication and leadership development, discipleship, and emphasis on important character qualities like the 3R's (respect, responsibility, and relationship). We have complete peace of mind that when we drop them off in the morning, they are safe and loved, and that the teachers they are with are using their strengths to add value to our kids."
"The teachers have done an excellent job in identifying our children's personal strengths academically, and especially in their character. They have helped to encourage, draw out, and build on those strengths," she continued. "We have been so impressed with the 'extras' that help our kids to grow as individuals: family chapel, student-led worship, upper grade buddies, seeing high school leadership through I-Term and basketball clinics, achievement recognition, peer encouragement, and excellent music programs. We are excited to see them grow and excel as they get older."
The more they have gotten involved, the more humbled they have been by the vision and heart of the leadership in the schools. Cristi serves the Puyallup Elementary campus as part of the Parents for Cascade leadership team. “Her gentle, godly spirit helps her leadership to be received well,” said Mr. Broberg. “Both Shawn and Cristi are great encouragers. Many times they have shared a few words with me that lifted my spirit,” he added.
"I have gotten to meet with Mr. Broberg over the course of this year, and he does not take lightly his calling to lead our school and staff, and to disciple and impact the next generation for Jesus and a care for each child," Cristi said. "We love getting postcards that our family and children have been prayed for individually, and if our children have a request, it is specifically lifted up."
To her family, the most important things CCS offers include an opportunity for wise counsel, and high moral and spiritual standards. She said there are well-rounded, responsible individuals with boldness and passion for Jesus who work at Cascade Christian. She knows her kids will go into adulthood with an unshakable foundation built on Jesus, and a willingness to follow Him and say 'yes' to His calling.
Cristi said that when their children near graduation, they don't want to look back and regret any major decisions, especially where their kids' hearts are concerned. She acknowledges that, for most people, it is a huge financial sacrifice to choose private education, and jokes that they give up a lot of the cultural norms like Disneyland and fancy meals.
"Even though we are sometimes saying ‘no’ financially to good and fun things during this process, we are choosing the BEST for them by being here," she said. "Looking back, we will say all the stuff we gave up, and the time we invested at Cascade Christian was well worth it!"
"We have had moments where we questioned our financial juggling over tears because our money didn't stretch as far as it needed to," she softly said. "We have to remind each other at times to put it back into perspective because our minds so easily gravitate toward things, or the 'what ifs?' Thankfully, God has His own economics. Remember the story of the coin in the fish's mouth? This has been an area that we have had to trust God in, and it has strengthened our faith in Him as our provider."
When asked if she has any advice for prospective parents considering CCS, Cristi simply says they should check it out for themselves and form their own opinion.
"Other people's advice is great, but in the end, those kids are given to us to care for - make it a prayerful choice!"