HISTORY OF WESTERN OKLAHOMA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Western Oklahoma Christian School was founded in 1987 under the vision of a Provisional Organizing Board. (* List Below) Their primary intention was to provide a Bible based academic program for elementary students from Christian homes. It was planned that this school would be an extension of the Christian training that children were receiving from their families and local churches. These early WOCS leaders recognized that the public school system had drifted away from its Christian heritage. This Christian school was organized to provide an alternative to the secular educational institution.
The first WOCS classes were held in the Baptist Church in Bessie, Oklahoma. There were 22 students in attendance. These children were from the communities of Bessie, Clinton, Cordell, Corn, Dill City, and Weatherford. The original faculty included:
Jerry Fonte – Administrator
Joanie Quiring – 1st through 3rd grade teacher
Ruth Killman – first semester 4th through 6th grade teacher
Erma Ratzlaff – second semester 4th through 6th grade teacher
Diane Peters – Part-time Kindergarten teacher
In 1988 WOCS was moved to 710 South 19th, a house owned by the 1st Mennonite Church of Clinton. This move to 19th street provided stable classrooms for the students as opposed to sharing space with the Baptist Church Sunday school classes. There were 30 WOCS students during this school year.
Each year there was a growth in attendance. With this increase in numbers, plus some concern over fire safety in the home setting, WOCS began searching for a more suitable location. In 1989, Mr. and Mrs. Irving Schmidt donated a piece of land on the south edge of Clinton. A permanent school was built at 2901 Beverly Lane, just south of Clinton, Oklahoma. The metal structure of 300 square feet included 4 classrooms and an administrative office. There were 40 students at this time. In 1992, we added pre-school.
In 1994, enrollments in particular grades were reaching the pre-determined limit. After consulting with the constituency, the Board initiated a building project to add 250 square feet to the 1989 structure. As money was available, this space was divided into four additional classrooms.
In the 1994-95 school years, there were 71 students at WOCS. The staff included 5 full-time teachers, 1 part-time art teacher, and a part-time secretary.
The school has a reputation for excellent scholarship, and Bible is taught as a regular school subject. Denominational instruction is not given, but Protestant beliefs are taught from an evangelical perspective. There are prayer times and chapel sessions during each school day. True to the vision of the founding leaders, the heart of the WOCS program is the integration of Christian principles into all areas of elementary school instruction.
The old school bell in front of the school was donated and added in 1991 by Elmer Quiring. It is the old bell from the Missouri one-room school south of Weatherford, Oklahoma. The brick sign in front of the school was donated by Ruben Wedel of Cordell in memory of Edna Wedel, and the Hank Peters family of Corn in memory of Helen Peters.