The title “Protestant Reformed” is very precious to the parents who call themselves by it. Not only do they demand that the preaching in the church be Protestant Reformed, but they see to it that the instruction in the home is also in harmony with the Scriptures. Since the school is an extension of the home, it necessarily follows that Protestant Reformed education is to be desired by such parents.
The constitution of the Hull Protestant Reformed Christian School states that the supreme standard of the society is the Word of God and the three forms of unity, which are to “form the basis of the administration, instruction, and discipline of the school.” However, the name Protestant Reformed alone is not enough. The instruction must be “Word of God” centered, and that Word must be an all-pervading force in the educational program.
The reality of that Protestant Reformed school came to fruition in Hull in the 1976-77 school year. In June of 1973 an organizational society meeting was held. A month later a school board was elected, with Rev. Kortering appointed as spiritual advisor, and a constitution was adopted. The Board then set the target date of operation for the fall of 1976. The date was pushed ahead to the fall of 1975 by the Society, but after getting their feet wet with the arrangements necessary to begin a school from scratch, the Board requested that the original target date stand.
A search was made for available property in the area and a few possibilities surfaced. In August of 1974 a large plot of land in Highland Park, the former name for a western section of Hull, was purchased. The house on that property was also purchased, and it now houses the principal and his family.
With proper rearing of the covenant seed being the primary and deepest concern of Society and Board, the wheels of planning kept rolling. The Board was also concerned about the quality of academics it was to offer. Working closely with the newly contracted Mr. Russ Dykstra, the Board examined and purchased educational materials, school equipment, and even janitor equipment and supplies. The Ladies’ Guild is also to be mentioned as a fund raiser and supplier of many of our educational extras. The quality building also reflects the effort to provide a facility where quality education, in harmony with state codes, could take place. The Society applied for state certification, which, after typical dealings with the state, came into effect a year or’s0 after it was expected.
It’s very interesting to talk to students about those first days of school. Some of the topics that surface are the lack of chalkboards, bulletin boards, and desks those first few days, and the fact that the students had to sit around tables. Another interesting fact is that the third, fourth, ‘and fifth graders were to get an extra week of summer vacation until their teacher could arrive. The students complain that they had to play in an alfalfa field because the playground lawn had just been sown with grass. The path on which they walked to that field is still visible today. The building of the gymnasium and the fun the students had with the workers is still very vivid in the minds of many. All of these little matters were minor in comparison to the fact that we now had our own school, and covenant instruction was taking place in the classrooms.
Our school has experienced the Lord’s blessing in the past four years. The school support and numbers have grown from within. The teaching staff has increased from three to four full-time teachers, and potential student growth is something the Board will have to deal with in the future. The student enrollment this year is forty-seven, but the number of pre-school age children in our Hull church is fifty-seven.
Two of the most exciting and beneficial days of the school year for both teachers and students are what we refer to as chapel days. The Protestant Reformed schools of Doon, Hull, and Edgerton get together, on a rotating school basis, to enjoy a chapel delivery and special numbers in the morning followed by special activities in the afternoon. These prove to foster positive relationships between the students as well as the teachers and schools.
Just a month or so ago, our school had the privilege of co-hosting the twenty-sixth annual Teachers’ Convention. Even though much planning was required and some teachers suffered some inconvenience, we think the positive effect of the convention for this area far outweighs those inconveniences. In a real way, unity for the cause of Protestant Reformed education was conveyed to the schools and people of this area, not to mention the usual spiritual and practical benefits of such a convention. We again thank all those who made the convention possible; it will always be a special convention for us.
At the present time, our faculty consists of four members. Mr. Ron Koole teaches the seventh and eighth grades, while sharing the teaching responsibilities of the sixth with Mrs. Sharon Keizer, who also teaches fourth and fifth. Shortly, she will be teaching in her own home due to the fact that she will be blessed with a child, the Lord willing, in December. Mr. Ed Karsemeyer will take over her position in January. Miss Sandy Vander Woude instructs the second and third grades, while Mrs. Jan Westra teaches kindergarten and first.
Our prayer is that God will continue to bless our school, as He has in the past, and the cause of Protestant Reformed education in our schools nation-wide.