Westminster Christian Academy (Missouri)
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|Westminster Christian Academy|
Main Entrance, Town and Country campus
800 Maryville Centre Drive
|Faculty||80 Full Time / 15 Part Time|
|Color(s)||Blue and white|
Westminster Christian Academy (WCA) is a private Christian school in Town and Country, Missouri serving students in grades 7–12. As of 2019, the school has an enrollment of approximately 975 students. The Upper School (9-12) enrolls approximately 750 students and the Middle School (7-8) enrolls approximately 260 students.
Westminster Christian Academy opened on September 7, 1976 to 72 students. In its first two years, Westminster operated out of rented classrooms from Missouri Baptist University under the leadership of Headmaster Nolan Vander Ark. Before joining Westminster, Mr. Vander Ark served as a Christian Reformed missionary in Africa. After two years, the administration purchased a campus known as the "Des Peres School" in Kirkwood, Missouri. Once Westminster moved to the new campus, Evelyn Downs assumed the position of headmistress and remained so until 1981.
After four years at the Des Peres campus, the student body doubled and the necessity of finding space for the rapidly growing school was unavoidable. In 1982, Westminster purchased a 30-acre campus in Creve Coeur. During this time, Arlen Dykstra became headmaster and oversaw the relocation of the school. The school remained at the Creve Coeur campus until 2011. In 2000, the school completed an $11 million construction and renovation project to add a gymnasium, student commons, hallway wings, a weightlifting facility and locker rooms, a bookstore, and offices. The 2010–11 school year marked the last of its use by the school; the campus was sold to the Ladue School District for $18 million dollars.
In 2002, Westminster purchased the campus of the West County Vocational Technical School in Town and Country with plans to renovate the space to serve for future growth of the school. Additionally, an adjacent parcel of land was purchased from Central Presbyterian Church. The purchase was made possible by a donation to Westminster by an anonymous supporter. Construction on the new campus finished in early August 2011. The current campus has made the addition of a multitude of fields for both practicing on and hosting games including 12 tennis courts, three gymnasiums, one theatre that seats more than 600 people, a black box theatre, football stadium, soccer field, practice fields, swimming pool, and many storage facilities and lockers. Each grade level also has its own common area, including meeting spaces for student organizations.
The school has had seven heads of school since it's inception in 1976: Nolan Vander Ark (1976–77); Evelyn Downs (1977–81); Arlen Dykstra (1981–84); Larry Birchler (acting headmaster 1984–85); Jim Marsh (1985–2013); Dr. Tom Stoner (2013–2016); Barrett Mosbacker (2017–present).
Seventy-four percent of Westminster faculty hold advanced degrees, including 11 doctorates. Ninety-eight percent of the graduates from the Class of 2019 attended college with 20 percent attending Christian colleges. The school offers a college preparatory program, including AP and 1818 courses, a gifted students program, and a special services program to address the educational needs of those families who have students with diagnosed disabilities for extra fees.
Since 2007, 47 students have been named National Merit Scholars and 59 students named Commended Scholars. In 2005, the academic competition team (coached by Bob Vass) won the MSHSAA state championship. During the 1990–91 school year, Westminster was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education.
Westminster offers a visual and performing arts program that includes music, theatre, improv, graphic design, and ceramics.
The school has been recognized by the St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards multiple times—awards received include Outstanding Production (2017, 2019), Outstanding Ensemble (2019), Outstanding Costume Design & Execution (2018), Outstanding Direction (2018), and Outstanding Supporting Actress (2017). During the 2018–19 school year, 15 students were selected to participate in the St. Louis metro district honors choir and orchestra. Two students were also selected to participate in the All-State Choir.
Westminster Christian Academy offers baseball, basketball, softball, field hockey, cross country, football, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and diving, golf, track and field, tennis, volleyball, hockey, dance, cheerleading, and wrestling. Westminster is a member of the Metro League (Missouri) along with John Burroughs, Lutheran North, Lutheran South, MICDS, Principia, Priory, and Villa Duchesne.
In the past seven years, Westminster's athletics program has won nine team state championships and more than 18 individual state titles.
- The Westminster boys' baseball team placed first in state in the spring of 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. They are the first school in Missouri history to win four straight baseball championships. In 2019, the boys' placed second in the state.
- The boys' cross country team has finished third at the state meet three times (2010, 2014, 2015).
- Girls' cross country has won three district championships (2001, 2017, 2018).
- The boys' soccer team has won two district championships (2009, 2014) and a metro league conference championship (2009).
- Since its inception in 1997, the girls' golf team has won two state championships (201, 2012), five district championships (2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015) and two conference championships (2011, 2012).
- The Wildcat softball team has won five district championships (2007, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2018).
- The girls' tennis team has won one district championship (2013) and a doubles team state championship (2009).
- Westminster girls' volleyball won the state championship in 2012, was a state runner-up in 2007, and has won 13 district championships.
- Since the inaugural varsity season in 2001, Westminster football has won five district championships (2006, 2009, 2013–15) and two conference championships (2006, 2014).
- The boys' basketball team has won four district championships (2005, 2007, 2008, 2015).
- The girls' basketball program has won three district championships (2007, 2011, 2012).
- Westminster hockey won consecutive Wickenheiser Cups in 2017 and 2018.
- The boys' golf team has won one team state championship (2010) and eight district championships (1996, 2001, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013).
- The girls' soccer team has won three district championships (2007, 2008, 2018).
- The boys volleyball team has won one state championship (2015).
The student organizations and each class often participate in community service projects. The seniors, however, are required to participate in “Faith in Action,” a program in which they serve in various help agencies throughout the St. Louis community for two hours each Thursday morning of the school year.
Accreditations & Memberships
Westminster was the first Christian school to be accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS), an accreditation the school maintains to this day. The school is also accredited by Christian Schools International.
Westminster is a member of the following organizations: the Missouri Association for College Admission Counseling (MOACAC), National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), The College Board, Independent Schools of St. Louis, Christian Schools Association of St. Louis, Christian Schools International (CSI), and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
- Michael Gerson, 1982, former presidential speechwriter for George W. Bush and one of Time Magazine's "25 Most Influential Evangelicals In America".
- Andrea Mackris, 1989, Former FOX News television producer, primarily known for bringing a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill O'Reilly in 2004.
- Sandra McCracken, 1995, singer-songwriter.
- George Thampy, 2005 Valedictorian, Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion in 2000, featured in the movie Spellbound.
- Jacob Turner, 2009, former MLB pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, and Washington Nationals.
- Westminster Christian Academy: At a Glance
- Westminster Christian Academy: Complete History
- Westminster Christian Academy: Latest News
- http://www.wcastl.org/admissions/ataglance/ Westminster at a Glance
- "Curriculum". Westminster Christian Academy. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
- Westminster Christian Academy: Special Services
- "SLHSMTA - Home". St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
- "St. Louis Metro District 8". stlmetro8.org. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
- "Summer 2005.indd" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-15.
- http://184.108.40.206/upload/07CSG%20.pdf Course Selection for the 2007-2008 Academic Year
- Westminster Christian Academy: Complete History
- "The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America". TIME. 2005-02-07.
- Michael Gerson
- Andrea Mackris
- Sandra McCracken Rocks!!! - CGR Community
- George Thampy
- Breakfast of Champions, page 1 - News - Riverfront Times - Riverfront Times
- "Jacob Turner Stats, Highlights, Bio | MiLB.com Stats | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". MiLB.com. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Westminster Christian Academy (Missouri).|
- Westminster Christian Academy — official site