As we celebrate 75 years of Woodcrest Christian, we invite you to take a step into the past with us to remember the moments that shaped our culture and community as an institution. The roots of our history run deep in the staff/teachers, generations of families, and students. Our story is truly one that God orchestrated from the beginning and continues to bless.
In the summer of 1948, Mrs. Matilda Randall felt the need for a day school in the Riverside area which would emphasize Christian principles. She dreamed boys and girls would learn to be leaders of tomorrow, according to the principles of life as taught in God’s Word, the Bible.
Weeks of conferences, counseling and prayer preceded the announcement of the opening date of Riverside Christian Day School in September of 1948 with a small class of seven students, one of which included Mrs. Randall’s grandson, Tony (pictured).
By the end of the first school year, the original seven students had increased to 28. Outgrowing the first site, a small house on 10th street in downtown Riverside, the school moved to a ceramic studio on Sunnyside Drive.
Rounding a Corner
Teachers, parents and friends help modify a new location on Sunnyside Drive to accommodate 161 Kindergarten through 8th grade students. The first school bus is purchased to relieve Mrs. Donat, the principal, from making two daily round trips in her own car to pick up and drop off some of..Read More
A New Location
Funding for the purchase of a permanent location on Arlington Ave. come from a mortgage that a school Board member took out on his own home and from the sale of a crop of barley grown on the campus.
By this time enrollment had gone up significantly and there was insufficient space to house the 4th-6th grades and newly added 7th-8th grades. Several crowded classrooms were accommodated by portable partitions in the newly constructed auditorium of Magnolia Baptist Church.
Students are excited to begin school and eagerly meet in the breezeway, the church next door, and even in a school bus until classrooms are completed in the fall of 1956.
Student Body Multiplies
Enrollment at Riverside Christian Day School advances to over 300 students by 1960.
Mrs. Donat Retires
Mrs. Donat served as the school’s principal for 12 years until she retired due to illness. The humble, God-fearing woman, adored by all, watched the school climb from 28 students to 341 at her departure.
Construction on the Riverside Christian Day School rotunda building is completed. Many school programs, plays, and concerts would take place here for years to come, in addition to the daily lunch activities for the students.
Mr. Lynn Lamy, a Riverside police officer, volunteered countless hours and served on the school’s board of directors. He becomes the first administrator and is instrumental in growing the school for the next 22 years.
Lynn Lamy, the first school administrator, is hired on and solidifies the importance of integrating the Bible into all class subjects and coins the term “Christ-centered Academics.” He envisioned the campus for the upper grades and set out to make it happen.
A twenty-acre poultry farm is purchased for the new 7th-12th grade campus in rural Woodcrest, California.
In the summer of 1973 the school constructed a six classroom wing on the property which accommodated 51 students in grades 7-8th. This was Phase I of the Secondary Division campus which the Board named Woodcrest Christian School. In the following two years the grade levels expanded through 10th grade.
Phase II Construction
In 1976 a four classroom complex (for expansion of senior high school grades) and an administration/multi purpose building were constructed on the upper campus to complete Construction Phase II.
Filed as Corporation
Harold McKinney and Charles L. Phillips, Jr. sign on as President and Secretary of the corporation and receive a Certificate of Amendment of Articles of Incorporation for Riverside Christian Day School. Papers were filed under the Secretary of State department.
First Graduating Class
The first ever class of seniors, nicknamed ‘The Magnificent Seven,’ graduated in the spring of 1978 and received their diplomas.
Construction and enrollment boom through the 80’s and 90’s as staff, families, and friends of WCS continue to give and support the school.
Charles O. White Pavilion
Mr. Chuck White sent his children to WCS, and was so impacted that he committed his life to Christ. He served on the school board for 20 years, was superintendent, and coached baseball. He spearheaded the building of the gym/pavilion. After many pauses due to financial difficulties, the gym was..Read More
The decade ended with enrollment at an all-time high of almost 950, but the crowning achievement came with the first-ever ACSI accreditation for the School System. This added yet another reason to praise the Lord as Woodcrest Christian celebrated the 50th year for RCDS and 25th for WCS.
The school embarks on “Building Upon the Rock,” the largest expansion effort since purchasing the property. Ten classrooms, baseball and soccer stadiums, five buildings, and a lunch shelter are added on the Woodcrest Christian campus.
A ten year technology upgrade begins at both campuses.
While this year saw the largest high school graduating class in school history, it also saw the impact of a nationwide recession reducing enrollment to near 900 over the next few years and requiring a $1 million dollar reduction in the annual operating budget.
RCDS Becomes WCDS
Riverside Christian Day School officially becomes Woodcrest Christian Day School, and three new modular classrooms are added on the campus.
Although strictly adhering to the CDC guidelines, Woodcrest Christian was able to stay open amidst many schools both public and private closing. God was faithful to our school and in the middle of difficult times the Woodcrest Christian attendance hit record highs.