Olympia Christian School Celebrates 100 Years

As Olympia Christian School approached its 100th anniversary, God provided all the right people to help with the special celebration.

A planning team organized all the details — including specialized confetti — for a well-attended special celebration that took place Oct. 21–23, 2022 complete with Friday night dinner and music program, Sabbath services and lunch, and Sunday Fall Fair.

The whole weekend celebrated the people of Olympia Junior Academy and Olympia Christian School. Various music groups performed including the school’s current bell choir and strings group joined by alumni, a teachers' flute ensemble, the Ed Case family string ensemble and alumni Daynnie and Dale Hansen who performed “I Am Not Alone.” In addition, Judy Castrejon, former teacher and principal, organized an alumni Manos group.

Rick Serns, former principal, spoke and sang a song he had written several years before at OJA. Ken Penner from the OCS community provided a video going back to 1979 highlighting the various school years. Longtime educator Ciri Achord posed for a photo with all her gathered students from her years at OJA.

Humble Beginnings

To document the school’s history, Valerie Serns, retired educator and alumni weekend coordinator, took the lead by collecting old yearbooks, establishing friendships, developing an alumni and friends contact list, and compiling the school’s history.

In 1922, a church school was first established in Olympia in the church’s basement, then located on Bethel Street.

In the early 1950s, the church acquired a piece of property on Springer Road — now 1416 26th Ave. — just up the street from the old church. The property was approximately 8 acres with a creek and cedar trees making a beautiful setting.

In the 1960s, several people helped moved buildings from Fort Lewis to create a four-room school with three classrooms and an office.

Joe Nixon, Olympia Church pastor, asked David Glenn to start a branch Sabbath School with a few Olympia church families to launch Lacey Church. Rick Quast then joined the community to build and further establish Lacey Church. This gave OJA two supporting churches.

Olympia Transformation Life Center and Lacey Church have faithfully supported the school throughout all its ups and downs and transitions.

Over the years, various changes in teachers, administration and pastors in the 2000s resulted in a new look and a new, more modern name of Olympia Christian School.

Shortly after, church and school leaders identified some major and costly upgrades needed for the 26th Ave. building, and a new location was found in 2010 at 1215 Ethel St. NW in West Olympia.

Throughout its history, it didn't matter where the school was located or what name it had; what matters most are the students learning and growing as disciples of Jesus.


Longtime educator Ciri Achord (center) poses for a photo with all her gathered students from throughout her years at OJA.

Featured in: March/April 2023