United Christian Academy
The formation of United Christian Academy is a testimony to the provision of God and the faithful commitment to see a unique alternative for the education of young people that offers academic excellence in the framework of biblical values and Christian unity. Through the early years God brought leaders of different Christian backgrounds together to establish United Christian Academy.
Protestant ministers were meeting monthly in the Newport area to share ministries and prayer. Following graduation of NCUHS in 1994 concerns they shared resulted in a decision to explore alternatives to public school for Christian parents.
Meanwhile, Fr. Forrest Rouelle heard from the Lord in prayer – start a Christian High School. Though he proceeded with a catholic school in mind, God made it very clear that it was to be a “Christian” High School. He called Rev. John Genco, one of the local ministers, and discussed the possibilities. It was agreed that a general discussion be held with the evangelical ministers who met on the first Friday of each month.
Informal meetings were held to discuss the formation of a Christian High School. A group of 18 ministers showed interest in this endeavor and began to pray and seek God for guidance in this matter.
The churches involved were:
Newport Center United Church
Morgan United Church
No. Troy United Church
Life in Christ Fellowship
Faith Lighthouse Assembly of God
Lennoxville, Quebec Church of England
Solid Rock Assembly of God
Newport Baptist Church
Newport Nazarene Church
St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church
E. Charlestown Nazarene Church
Evangelical Free Church, Newport
Brownington Center Congregational Church
Church of God, Newport
United Church of Derby
Island Pond Congregational Church
Coventry Congregational Church
W. Charlestown Free Will Baptist Church
Regular meetings continued, increasing to an as-needed basis. The first recorded meeting was September 7, 1994. A name was already adopted as United Christian Academy and an interim board was elected at this meeting.
The interim Board consisted of:
John Genco was appointed Chairman and Ruth Genco was asked to be secretary. Four committees were formed: Brochure, Finance, Head Master Search Committee, and Constitution and Bylaws.
October 12, 1994
Officers were elected as follows: John Genco, President; Forrest Rouelle, Vice President; Norman Frechette, Treasurer; Ruth Genco, Secretary.
November 4, 1994
A decision was made to concentrate on using he educational wing of the United Church of Derby to house our school until a permanent site could be obtained. From this point our efforts centered on the church building as our start-up location. Much energy and finances went into getting the building ready for winter.
Efforts were made raise money to finance the school. Churches were asked to solicit “start-up” funds and a good response was realized. Special UCA days were held in many churches for this purpose. People were urged to make monthly pledges to the school.
December 9, 1994
UCA was officially incorporated in the State of Vermont.
December 15, 1994
The first brochures were distributed. Bud Deveny, a Headmaster from a Christian school in Massachusetts spoke to the board to encourage them. Through the leading of God, Bud was appointed as part-time Headmaster later, on January 14, 1995.
During this time two proposals were offered on two different buildings, but in the providence of God, He saw fit to keep us out of both these deals. But on February 1995 leaders began looking into the possibility of obtaining the former Lakeview Building in Newport, VT. Meanwhile the Covenant between the United Church of Derby and UCA was approved.
March 21, 1995
The Constitution was approved and adopted.
March 28, 1995
At the April 25 meeting Fred Barker was elected Vice President. Bud Devaney was offered the position of Headmaster and began April 11.
By this time plans were moving fast on purchasing Lakeview School. Scott Moffatt and John Genco approached the City Council and the work began. A banquet was held on May 6 to raise funds for the school. We were able to raise one-third of what was needed to supplement tuition in pledges and cash. A proposal on the Lakeside Building was offered to the City Council: $2,500 a year, interest free, for 10 years with a balloon payment at that time of $75,000.
Bud moved to Newport on June 12th and began work immediately at the Academy. It was agreed at this time to include 7th and 8th grades into the school which originally was to be 9th-12th grades. Enrollment was beginning and we saw a great response.
By summer of 1995 the office in the church was furnished and the school is in business. The student office units are being constructed by many parishioners of the various churches. Jim and Kay Horler from Morgan are doing the bulk of the work. Teachers’ Contracts have been signed and the staff is ready to go. A school secretary was hired for part-time work.
An informational meeting was planned for July 20th and was well attended by 82 people.
August 9, 1995
Student testing began for 30 students, and 40 had enrolled to date.
August 28, 1995
Opening Day of UCA. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held with 46 students attending. A hot lunch program was instituted.
September 12, 1995
The voters of the City of Newport voted 4-1 in favor of selling the Lakeview Building to UCA on the terms offered, thus the Miracle at Lakeview began, with a closing date of October 6.
During fall of 1995 school continues at the building loaned by the United Church of Derby. An extensive music and drama program was developed as wells as a sports program with a soccer team and plans for a basketball team.
Work on the new building began as soon as papers were signed. Every church participated in the refinishing of the rooms, donating countless hours painting, refinishing the hardwood floors, and refurnishing the kitchen. Many dollars were donated to the work and we were able to finish without the school going into debt.
Plans were made to move into the new building on Thanksgiving weekend with classes beginning there on November 28th.