School History

The school opened its doors in 1919 under the name of Western Academy. The promoters of secondary Christian education believed in a “world and life view” that started and ended with the sovereignty of God over all of life. The enrollment that first year was 40 students  and tuition was $50 per year.  Students met in a house on Main Street.

In 1924 the original building was erected. During the early days of Western Academy, transportation and housing were the responsibility of the parents. All of the students who attended the academy lived in Hull either as local residents or as boarding students. Those, whose homes were Rock Valley or Sioux Center, distances of only eight or nine miles from Hull, boarded from Monday to Friday.   During the history of Western, students came largely from five areas: Sioux County and the immediate area contributed most of the students; Central Minnesota, or the Prinsburg area; Southwestern Minnesota, or the Edgerton area; Central South Dakota, or the Corsica area; and the Manhattan, Montana area. When Christian high schools were started in those areas no students came from those areas.  In 1934, Western purchased a bus. With the expansion of the busing program more and more students attended Western.

The school reorganized from Western Academy in 1934 to its present name of Western Christian High School and in 1940 enrollment reached 100 students. Enrollment increased rapidly during the next decade, which necessitated the completion of all the rooms in the original building in 1948. An addition to the building was completed in 1950. In 1957 the board of directors saw the need for more room which resulted in the addition of two classrooms and a gymnasium. In 1964 a modern music facility was completed, providing practice rooms for band and choir, office space for the directors of music groups, and space for a music library. In 1968 a science wing was added and in the mid 70’s the woods shop and home economics rooms were added. In January of 1979 the main gymnasium was added.

In 1994, new construction and the remodeling of three floors of the old building occurred and in 2008 a weight room and bus barn were added to the campus In 2015-16 a major renovation of the science wing, music areas, and old gymnasium will be completed. A new entrance and lobby will also be a part of this project.

The curriculum in those early years defined the character of the school very well. The courses showed that the board placed emphasis on scholarship and performance and had not lost sight of the reason for organizing the school which was to rain teachers for the local elementary Christian schools. Mathematics, Science, English, History, Social Science, Bible, Latin, German, and Dutch were all required courses.

Students were also encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities. Music has been a leading activity ever since Western opened its doors. Vocal groups were organized early in its history and band was started in 1950. Orchestra is currently offered at Western as well. Initially, the board was reluctant to grant permission for competitive sports. It wasn’t until the 1940’s that Western could compete against the community schools because it took time to be recognized by the Iowa High School Athletic Association.  Athletics are now a significant part of student life on Western’s campus. Participation in theater, publications, and speech is also a significant part of student’s experiences at Western.

Western Christian has been blessed by faithful support over the years by alumni, parents, grandparents, churches, and local businesses at an amazing level. From Western’s humble beginnings in a large house on Main Street, this comprehensive liberal arts school is now housed in 80,000 square feet of state of the art educational classrooms, labs, media center, woods and drafting, and athletic facilities. The curriculum exceeds the high standards set by the state of Iowa and includes courses for those who will enter the workforce after graduation from high school and for those who will continue their education after high school. God is indeed working at Western Christian High School.

Currently Western students come from over thirty churches from Inwood, Rock Rapids, Lester, Alvord, Doon, George, Rock Valley, Hull, Boyden, Ocheyedan, Sanborn, Sheldon, Sioux Center, Lebanon, Middleburg, and Hudson, South Dakota. Western enrolls approximately 250 students and is affiliated with Christian Schools International (CSI) and accredited by the Iowa Department of Education.

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