Oakdale Christian Academy has a long history of service to God through serving teenagers – 94 years and counting! Originally a day school for local young people needing an education, Oakdale was too far across the mountains for some students to make the trek every morning and night. We decided that it wasn’t enough to serve only those near the campus, so we started a dormitory program.
In 1968 and 1987, there were opportunities for Oakdale to complete its ministry with grace and dignity, recognizing the seemingly insurmountable obstacles to continuing. Both times, individuals stepped forward with the conviction that God still had work to do at Oakdale. They said, in essence, that it wasn’t enough to go quietly into the night when young lives still needed the kind of ministry offered here.
In the early 1990s, Anderson Hall seemed to have outlived its usefulness. Many deficits of this historic building made it of questionable value. However, it wasn’t enough to ignore the potential that remained in a solid foundation and structure, so we embarked upon a full renovation.
Accreditation was rarely an issue for our graduates into the 1990s. Wanting to provide the best opportunities for our students, we decided that it wasn’t enough to hope for the best. We pursued accreditation aggressively in the late 1990s and early 2000s, obtaining full accreditation in 2002. The timing was fortuitous, as very shortly thereafter, it became impossible for graduates from non-accredited school to enroll in most colleges.
In 2002, faced with the loss of our gymnasium due to structural concerns, we began to explore the least costly option for replacing it. Our experience indicated that we would not be able to do otherwise. One donor household said that it wasn’t enough to build something that wouldn’t last. They provided the lead gift of $500,000 toward the $1 million Beacon Center.
The Beacon Center project helped us reorient our view on facilities so that whenever possible, we will delay a project to ensure adequate resources are there to do the job right, rather than just get it done. I could give many examples in recent years of the Oakdale family — which includes staff, board members, supporters and volunteers — saying that it isn’t enough to fulfill a minimal standard and then reaching for something greater.
This comes to mind:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord… (Colossians 3:23a)
Ultimately, our highest goal is to bring glory to God. Beyond the facilities and the organizational issues like accreditation, Oakdale Christian Academy is always saying “it isn’t enough” in the everyday ministry we provide.
It isn’t enough to give grades quarterly… we give weekly grade updates to students and their parents. On Mondays, we get to celebrate with students on their progress and encourage them in areas where they are struggling.
It isn’t enough to do weekly grades alone — we provide a separate “effort score” that communicates to students and their parents what kind of behind-the-scenes work is being done that will eventually mean a rising (or falling) grade.
It isn’t enough to give written reports to parents… we show them! Parents have access to a parents-only Facebook page where Linda Clark uploads dozens of pictures weekly so they can see what is happening in their students’ lives. (See below for the response of one Chinese family that shared their joy at seeing pictures of their son.)
It isn’t enough to barely keep up with technology. With the help of donors, we are upgrading to new technologies and providing students with an education that last year resulted in our AP Computer Science students simply blowing the top off the AP scores.
It is never enough to do just what will satisfy our students, their parents, or our support partners if we are not also doing our very best in service to Christ.
A wonderful byproduct of this commitment to excellence is that student families are finding Oakdale to an increasingly attractive option for their children. This excellence is shared with those who support Oakdale. Thank you for making it possible!