The founding board at CCS was comprised Mr. Timothy McClelland, President, Mr. Rick Chapman, Vice-President, Mr. Frank Barry, Secretary, and Mr. John Calhoun, Treasurer. Mrs. Teena Armstrong joined the board shortly thereafter. We began with a group of committed parents who wanted to apply Douglas Wilson’s book, Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning to the classroom. We read Dorothy Sayer’s essay, “The Lost Tools of Learning”, which had been reprinted from the 1940s and knew that following the trivium and teaching it according to the developmental stages of children described in the essay made perfect sense. This was the educational philosophy that the founders desired to implement in a school setting.
Cary Christian School opened it's doors to students on September 5, 1996, in modular units set at Peace Presbyterian Church in Cary. Hurricane Fran came that night, and school started again the following Thursday. Eighty-four students were enrolled the first year in grades K-12. The school grew primarily through word of mouth. We offered small class sizes although we did have combined grades for the first several years.
Through God's blessing and a dedicated staff, we grew the second year to 140 students. We expanded our use of the Peace Church building from just the two kindergarten classrooms to house the administrative office. Mr. Anthony Husemann left at the end of July, and Mrs. Ginger Hayes became the interim principal for the third school year with Mrs. Teena Armstrong assisting as Program Director. Our enrollment reached 167. We expanded our facilities to shift grades 5-8 to the "B" building of Salem Baptist Church as the decision was made to par back the program to K-8.
Mr. John McGillicuddy was hired for the position of principal for CCS’s fourth year of operation. The lease on the modulars ran out in August, and we were blessed by God to have Salem Baptist Church offer to lease additional space for grades 2-4 to be housed in the Apex facility in addition to the grades that were already there. Mr. John McGillicuddy resigned in late February, and Mr. McClelland stepped in to take over his responsibilities. We ended the year with approximately 190 students.
Driven by his understanding of the educational model and his vision for the school, Mr. McClelland remained the principal for the fifth year and brought much stability to the school. He immediately began to bring us back on track with the Cary Christian School model of classical education by inviting Mr. Larry Stephenson from the Logos School to come and speak to our parents. Mr. Stephenson came to Cary to serve as our principal/superintendent in August of 2001 and, once again, fanned the flame toward our goal of the classical approach to education. We had approximately 260 students our fifth year.
Blessed by God with steady, yearly growth, Cary Christian School began its eighth year with 502 students enrolled and eagerly awaited the construction of our new facility on Old Apex Road. We continued to occupy nine classrooms and an office at Peace Presbyterian Church which we referred to as the Peace campus. It housed three kindergarten classes, three first grade classes, three second grade classes, and an office. The Salem campus at Salem Baptist Church housed three third grade classes, three fourth and three fifth grade classes, and an office. Cary Christian School was blessed to have the support of both of these churches over the years. The Secondary campus located on North Salem Street housed two sixth grade classes, two seventh grade classes, two eighth grade classes, and one class each of ninth, tenth and eleventh grades. The superintendent, business manager, Development Director, and Athletic Director’s offices were located at the Secondary campus.
In August 2004, all staff and students moved into our current facility at 1330 Old Apex Road, Cary. What an incredible provision from God! We continued to grow to over 80 staff members developing for the glory of God. Student enrollment by year nine grew to 630, year ten to 675, year eleven to 733, year twelve to 777, year thirteen to 796, year fourteen to 808, year fifteen to 807, and year sixteen to 801 students and 101 staff members. Dr. Larry Stephenson’s ten year tenure ended with the close of the 2010-2011 school year. We thank God for the tremendous growth and success CCS experienced under his leadership. Mr. Dell Cook currently serves as the school Headmaster and Rhetoric Principal. We continue to trust God’s providence and faithfulness. Our ongoing commitment at Cary Christian School is to continuously seek God’s blessings on this ministry.