School History


A Brief History of Columbus Christian School 1976-2001

The East Columbus Christian School began in the hearts and minds of the minister of ECCC and his wife, Bob and Janet Work. The first planning committee consisting of Velma Goin, Jim and Sandy Holland, Patti Meek, Kathy Murphy, Bill McCoy, Gerald Perry, Donna Rueff, and Chuck and Linda Schreiber. Even before this working committee, a former minister, Robert Jones, had planted a seed for a school.

In the fall of 1976 a kindergarten class opened the school. Velma Goin taught that first class of fourteen students. The curriculum taught was A BEKA, a Christian curriculum with reading, writing, math, and Bible being the most important subjects taught. Judy Jackson volunteered as an aide to help with reading groups during that first year.

The following school year, 1977-78, proved that the community was interested in Christian education. The school grew to two kindergartens, first, second and third grades with sixty-five students enrolled. A school board was formed to lead the school in the community’s newest Christian school. The 1978-79 school year added fourth, fifth, and sixth grades with 159 total students. During the first three years, Mr. Bob Work served as the principal and Dixie Yeley did the secretarial work through the church office.

In the 1979 school year a principal, Val Khunes, was hired because the school had grown so much it was too much for the minister to handle along with the church. Along with two kindergartens, two first grades, two second grades, one third, one fourth, and one fifth and sixth grade combined class, and a music class was added. Enrollment rose to 166 students.

Teachers during the very beginning years:

Velma Goin taught kindergarten from 1976 to 1986. She also served in many other capacities including Principal during her service to the school.

Jeanett Foster - Kindergarten, First Grade

Barbara Moore - Kindergarten

Elizabeth Brooks - First, Second, and Third Grades

Jody Harris Fitzgibbon - First and Fourth Grades

Becky Williams - First and Fourth Grades

Shirley Shoopman - Second and Fourth Grades

Donna Rueff - Third and Fifth Grades

Kathy Ellis - Fourth and Sixth Grades

Jeanne Chandler - Music

Judy Jackson - Aide

The 80’s included many different changes in the school. Enrollment changed yearly with a high of 166 students and a low of 74 students. The principal changed to Mr. Ron Newlin, and many teachers came and went. In the 1982-83 school year, the C.P.T.A. (Christian Parents and Teacher Association) started a basketball program. Boys’ and girls’ teams were formed and of course cheerleaders were needed to cheer on the teams. The teams played in the Bartholomew County P.T.O. League. The 1982-83 year also saw the beginning of fundraising programs.

The 1983-84 year showed interest from other Christian Churches, which led to the consolidation of the school with Garden City Church of Christ taking an active role in the school leadership. The name of the school changed with the consolidation to Columbus Christian School, Inc. which remains to this date. Other notable happenings that year were the introduction of hot lunches and a sixth grade class trip at the end of the year. Dorothy Coon was hired as a teacher’s aide. She became the school secretary in 1986.

In the 1987-88 school year, Jack Campbell became principal and Robbie Shaw was added as a teacher’s aide. Janice Lemmon was hired as the kindergarten teacher, and in 1994 she became the principal.

The 90’s continued with growth, struggles, and proved the school was the Lord’s will. From the 1994-95 enrollment of 71, the school increased each year. The enrollment from 2001-2002, is 381 at the time of this printing.

In the 1997-98 school year, the school board decided to add the seventh grade to the school, with the eighth grade following the next year. Then in 1999, the student in eighth grade decided they would like to see the school offer the ninth grade. The eighth grade class asked Mrs. Lemmon about having a high school. She recommended that a student presentation be given to the C.C.S. School Board and the E.C.C.C. Elders, which they did. The school board then approved the request, as did the Elders of the church. Columbus Christian High school began in the 1999-2000 school year. Each year a high school grade has been added. We now have a junior class of eleven students. These eleven students will be our first high school graduating class in 2003. Praise the Lord!

The Forward in Faith Program began in 1998 for the expansion of the church. The new addition has classrooms, offices for the church and the school, and a new gymnasium/multi-purpose room with stage and classrooms. The building was dedicated on July 18, 1999, and opened for the school classes in August 1999. Praise the LORD for a facility that is used at least six days a week to provide a Christian Education based on Christian principals for the students of our community.

The sports program today consists of basketball for boys and girls with a high school program and an elementary program. There is also high school volleyball, golf, and tennis. In the school year 1999-2000 the boys’ varsity basketball team won the Christian Southern Athletic Conference Championship. The following year, 2000-2001 the girls’ varsity team won the CSAC championship. Praise God!

God has blessed the school with a wonderful Chrisitan staff. The 2001-2002 faculty and staff is as follows:

Principal - Janice Lemmon
Dean of Boys - Michael Dean

Dean of Girls - Debbie England

Administrative Assistant - Dorothy Coon

Administrative Assistant - Robbie Shaw

3 and 4 Year Old Preschool - Rhonda Brown - Dorene Bowman, Aide

K-4 Preschool - Pam Rogers - Mary Boggs, Aide

Kindergarten - Joyce ACton - Beth Roth, Aide

Kindergarten - Tracy Brooks - Debbie Colvin, Aide

Kindergarten - Jeanne Langley - Kim Kennedy, Aide

First Grade - Marjorie Roberts - Tracie Grissom-Beaman, Aide

First/Second Grades - Gwen Bond - Teresa Walker, Aide

Second Grade - Pam Costisick - Marsha Best, Aide

Third Grade - Donna Phillips - Lori Anderson, Aide

Fourth Grade -Angela Kirts - Diane Wendel, Aide

Fourth/Fifth Grade - Kim Mayes - Stacy Walters, Aide

Fifth Grade - Patricia Lowe

Bible - Cindy cooper - Becky Gault, Aide

Resource - Lois Mires

English - Christine Stultz - Marty Brown, Aide

Social Studies - MaryAnn Bailey - Janet Hodson, Aide

Science & Bible - Debbie England

Mathematics & P.E., & Social Studies - Rhonda Jackson

Band & Choir - Jill Friedersdorf

Choir - Betsy Hundley

Spanish - Karen Baxter

There are many volunteers that assist with the sports programs, in the classrooms, and in many other school functions.


My 5th grade teacher reading Janette Oke books to us which spurred my interest in reading. Also fond memories of my cheerleading days cheering on the Crusaders.
— Tera Dyson

The challenge and excitement of starting a school with God as the principle principal. The Patriotic Program presented by the students in the early years.

Kathy Murphy

Mrs. Brooks, my 2nd grade teacher was the best teacher. The friendships made at CCS are the most memorable.

Alicia (Butzer) Harrison

In 2nd grade we had Show & Tell. I brought in a large bucket full of bullfrogs which I had aught the weekend before. The lid came off! Frogs were jumpin’, girls were screamin’ and chairs were flyin’.

Amy (Myrick) Tomey

The atmosphere, teachers, end of the year prayer.

Waylon Medaris

The excitement of getting a Christian School in Columbus, Being on the school board for many years. One year taking the 6th grade on the class trip to French Lick for 2 days and 2 nights.

Luann Leaser

Being a part of the many musicals.

Julia (Leaser) Apple

Chapel services, my son winning school spelling bee and my son’s sports participation.

Donna Rueff 

Good friends and music class.

Dawn (Martin) Mahoney

Mrs. Sandy Barringer’s 4th grade class of 1988.

Lindsay (Jordan) Dudeck

Naming the Crusaders, playing home basketball games at Fodrea, practicing at First Christian Gym. Representing ECCS at County Spelling Bee. Lot of good friends and fun sleep overs. Having a cast put on my leg as a 5th grader in Mrs. Richardson’s class as a demonstration. I even got my picture in the newspaper.

Meg (O’Neill) Spear

Christian Education isn’t an expense but an investment.

Gerald Perry