Twenty-one years ago, two families sharing a desire to provide a Christian education for their children joined forces to create Trinity Oaks Christian Academy.
The first classes at Trinity Oaks Christian Academy in 1991 began with just eight students -and a bright outlook for the future - at the Evangelical Free Church, 575 E. Crystal Lake Ave., in Crystal Lake.
Over the years, Trinity's enrollment expanded and grade levels were added.
In need of more space, the academy relocated to the former Oak Knoll Elementary School location at 409 First Street in Cary in August 2004. Trinity leased the building from Cary Elementary School District 26 until July 31, 2012.
During last year's negotiations for a new lease agreement, District 26 offered Trinity Oaks a proposal too good to pass up: a $3.12 million lease-to-own deal to move into the Prairie Hill School, a site three times larger than the former Oak Koll.
The school, with an original address of 233 Oriole Trail in Cary, is nestled in a quiet neighborhood on 13 acres and would provide ample room for Trinity's student body of 172 children with room to grow.
"We were presented with a wonderful opportunity, and we moved here July 18th," said Susie Noe, director of admissions for Trinity Oaks Christian Academy. "Our families and administrators helped us make the move."
The non-denominational Christian school offers classes from preschool through ninth grade - having started a freshmen high school class in the fall. Five students comprise Trinity's Class of 2016, and school officials plan to expand high school options as those students move upward.
"We have five students who made the decision to be pioneers for our high school program," Noe said, adding that Trinity's students hale from Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Barrington, Bull Valley and Algonquin.
The school's curriculum includes biblical teachings, math, science, social science, reading, art, music, and technology. It offers full or half-day kindergarten options, as well as service learning courses and college prep plan for junior high students.
The studens also enjoy physical education in the school's newly refurbished gymnasium, equipped with a new wooden floor that was carried in, installed and finished by a couple of dads associated with Trinity, Noe said.
In fact, parents play a big role at the school. The parent-teacher association, H.O.P.E. (the Husky Organization of Parents and Educators) coordinates holiday parties, the annual school picnic and the Race for Education throughout the year.
Parents also take turns serving volunteer time in the lunch room and other duties. One family even donated playground equipment so the younger students could have a spacious indoor playground at Trinity.
"Our school is very parent driven," Noe said. "Not only do the parents get to help out - such as in the lunch room - but they also get to spend some time with their kids."
Trinity's athletics include basketball, volleyball, cross country, cheerleading.
More information about Trinity Oaks can be found on the school's website.
Anyone wanting to learn more about Trinity Oaks Christian Academy is invited to attend a free, upcoming Open House program scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at the school.
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