Christian school has new name, same focus

ALAMOSA — A local Christian school has a new name but the same mission of providing quality academics with a Christian emphasis.

Formerly Sunshine Christian School, Cornerstone Christian Academy celebrated its new name with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday.

“We are really excited about our rebranding efforts, our new name and logo,” said Eric VanIwaarden, chairman of the school’s operating committee. “Several months ago we decided maybe it was time for a change.”

He explained during the Thursday ceremony that the name that stuck was Cornerstone Christian Academy. As a builder, he said he could appreciate the significance of the cornerstone as the foundation of the building. Without that foundation, the building cannot stand. Christ is the Cornerstone, the foundation for the school, VanIwaarden explained.

“We are proud of our students, and we are proud of what we do here,” he said, “forming a foundation for eternity.”

That is the most important part of what the school accomplishes, VanIwaarden said, providing that Christian foundation.

“In the end that’s what matters,” he said.

One of his sons, Seth, who will be a fifth grader at Cornerstone this year, shared what he liked about the school, which included field trips like skiing.

Parent Valita Brown said her young daughter could hardly wait to start school this fall. After visiting the school this spring, “she hopped in the car and said ‘mommy, I really like this school’.”

Having an older daughter who has also attended the school, Brown added, “I like the teachers. They are outstanding. They are phenomenal. I love the way they interact with the children.”

She said she appreciated the one-on-one education students receive as well as the fun methods employed in learning, like hosting a feudal fashion show after a unit on the feudal system.

The school is involved in the Alamosa and broader San Luis Valley community. One of its annual events is the Mellow Yellow Lemon Run, a cancer benefit held in September.

Tara Bay and others with the Adelante program attended the ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday and thanked the school for working with the children served through Adelante, an outreach program of the La Puente shelter.

“We appreciate what you do for our children,” Bay said. She presented the school with a plant, symbolic of the growth fostered in children.

Cornerstone Christian Academy is a ministry of the Alamosa Seventh-day Adventist Church. Pastor Bob McAlpine concluded Thursday’s ceremonies with a prayer of dedication for the school, its students and teachers.

Head teacher and principal is Casey Martinez. Valley native Katrina Brown teaches pre-K, and new teacher Kathy Goley teaches K-2.

The school is open to students in the community and will host an open house from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 1. The school is located at 313 Craft Drive, north of McDonald’s in Alamosa. For more information call 589-2557.

Caption: Teachers, students, families and community members watch as Operating Committee Chairman Eric VanIwaarden cuts the ribbon on the renamed Cornerstone Christian Academy in Alamosa on Thursday. Courier photo by Ruth Heide