Author: KATHERINE ROSENBLUM | Photographer: Photography by Anne
In a world where competition is keen for our children’s hearts and minds, one of the most important decisions a parent must make is where and how to begin a child’s formal education. Options include public, private, charter and homeschooling. Fortunately, area residents wishing to reinforce biblical teachings and the philosophies of a Christ-centered life have an additional choice at Cross Schools, located in Bluffton.
Cross Schools was established in 1998 to meet the needs of a group of parents seeking to provide their children with an elementary and middle school education that was founded on Christian principles, provided a rigorous academic curriculum and was infused with a spirit of community.
As the school moves into its sixteenth year, and the first classes begin to graduate from college, a reflection into the lives of three very different students reveals the positive effect their primary education at Cross has had on their continued academic success. Through their stories, the common threads of hard work, service above self, sense of community and spiritual fortitude that were nurtured at Cross, are at the core of who they are now and serve as a guide for where they will go in the future.
J.D. Meeder, who is now a senior at Clemson University and graduating in the spring with degrees in political science and religious studies, was a star basketball player at Cross, and a superior leader of his peers, on and off the court. Meeder received the South Carolina Life Scholarship towards his college degree as well as a grant based on his academic achievement during his sophomore year. In his words, “Cross provided the basis for me to excel spiritually, socially and athletically.” The consistent involvement of parents and teachers, working together, to support, encourage and educate the students has become an integral part of his Cross Schools experience. “I remember the adults who believed in me and poured themselves into my life,” Meeder said.
Tori Lusik is a talented artist and writer. After attending Cross from first through eighth grades, Lusik went to Bluffton High School for her freshman and sophomore years. She was then accepted to the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, South Carolina, where she was inducted into the National Honors Society and was president of the Foreign Film Club. Upon graduating from the Governor’s School, Lusik was accepted, with a four-year Provost Scholarship, into the Honors College at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She is majoring in cinema and minoring in creative writing and history. When reflecting about her years at Cross, she said, “It instilled a strong work ethic and, above all, created a desire to learn, openly and as a way to engage with others.” Tori further remembers feeling a “sense of community and close relationship with my teachers that made me feel like I was not just another student.”
During his time at Cross, Davis Rosenblum participated in multiple sports, played guitar in the youth praise team and was a founding member of the middle school math team. After completing eight years at Cross, he spent the next four years at Bluffton High School, where he was a tri-sport athlete for the duration of his time at Bluffton High, as well as one of 31 seniors honored by the Beaufort County School District as a Senior Scholar. He is currently a freshman at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in the School of Engineering on a four-year Army ROTC Scholarship. According to Davis, “Cross prepared me for every aspect of my high school experience.”
Through the testimonies of these students, it is clear that the environment at Cross Schools supports and nurtures the unique strengths of its students, academically, socially and spiritually. The diverse paths of Meeder, Lusik and Rosenblum started at Cross, where their personalities and talents were encouraged and developed through their formative years. Today, they point back to the foundation that was laid at Cross as an integral part of growing them into the young adults they are today.
About Cross Schools
Cross Schools currently serves over 400 students in preschool through the eighth grade and also offers after school and summer camp programs. In conjunction with the strong academic and spiritual foundation, the school promotes the well rounded-student, firmly believing that students who develop a wide range of experiences and skills will find the greatest success. Under the guidance of faculty, students are able to balance their academics schedules with options to play sports and participate in the arts, as well as become active members in a number of clubs and/or activities.
A Christian education provides academic, spiritual and social benefits which pay dividends for life and for eternity. Give your child the advantage of a firm foundation at Cross Schools.
Cross Schools is located at 495 Buckwalter Parkway, Bluffton. For more information, visit crossschools.org or call (843) 706-2000.