PARSIPPANY — Since 1970, children of all ages and from regions beyond the greater Parsippany area have assembled for not just a Christian education, but a launching pad for their future. The brick building on the Northbound side of Littleton Road, between the corporate campuses and the on-ramp to Route 80, is home to Parsippany Christian School (PCS).
Schools are often looked at for their academic prowess, sports dominance and extra-curricular offerings. All those things are good, but for the majority of us school is about the relationships made and the experiences that prepare you for what’s next. And often enough, what’s next is rarely something you can learn in a textbook.
For PCS, what’s next is the end of a story that spans nearly five decades. At the end of this school year, PCS will close its doors in a bittersweet goodbye.
Declining enrollment and the variety of alternative educational opportunities have impacted PCS for the last few years and this year it came to a point that financially the school could not keep its doors open.
Teachers will be seeking other employment. Parents are left to make new plans for their kids. Students are having to prep for a future outside of PCS. And I just happen to be one of them.
You see PCS is more than just a school. It’s a family. Whether you like it or not those who walk through the doors there are connected to it. There was a point in time where I was embarrassed about going there, but like most things the foolishness of a junior high boy turns into a more realistic view of the world with age. “Mrs. Christman, who teaches second grade, has known me since I was nine and has taught my three eldest sons. Mr. and Mrs. Van Riper have been teaching there since I was in high school and now have my oldest who is a freshman. Everyone knows everyone by name. Doesn’t matter the difference in grade. Parents who only see each other at programs and sporting events are able to pick up conversations left off weeks earlier. It’s a Christian community of people who genuinely care for each other, said David Marine.
This is more than just a school closing. It’s saying goodbye to family, possibly for good. While the faculty and students have come to deal with the changes ahead as we approach the end of the school year, things will suddenly become more real.
PCS, however, will not quietly exit. The last two months have seen some unprecedented achievements. In the Garden State Association of Christian Schools (GSACS) Fine Arts competition, PCS students brought home more first place trophies in speech than any year before and saw all of them compete at a national competition held at Bob Jones University where one student, Logan Marine, was able to place second nationally in the Bible Memory category.
On top of that at the GSACS Junior High Fine Arts competition, PCS took home 1st place in total points in its division and won the Quality Award which takes into the account the amount of points per student competing. This marks the first time in over a decade that PCS has won both of those awards in the same year.
While small in number, the talent at PCS is bigger than one might think. That’s why on May 17th at 7 pm PCS will present a Farewell Concert showcasing speeches from its winning students, musical performances and a special tribute from the faculty.
If you’ve ever darkened the doors of PCS, they want to personally invite you to come back one last time to support these students and say goodbye to an institution that, whether you want to admit or not, has shaped who you are.
James 1:17 says that ” Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” PCS is a good gift from God that for 49 years has not just educated children, but aimed to shape Godly individuals to be kind, loving and faithful citizens that our world so desperately needs right now. While the lights may be turned off and students find other institutions of learning, those involved with PCS can and should appreciate the ministry they’ve been a part of.
As the saying goes, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. I’m sure that sentiment will set in for many of us, but let’s not wait that long to celebrate it. Come to the Farewell Concert on May 17 at 7:00 p.m. You know the address…
…but in case you forgot it is 1179 Littleton Road in Parsippany.