Co-Founder and Board Member of Valor Christian High School
By Jillian Chandler | Photo by Adair Media Group
Acknowledging a desire of many families in the community, Luke Patterson, his wife Kiersten, and Eric Thompson, along with a couple other parents, came together with the idea of creating a new Christian high school in Sandpoint and began exploring what it would take. For the past year and a half, they have worked tirelessly to form a leadership board, advance the project and meet the goal of beginning classes this September.
Q. Please share a little about your background and how you became involved on the Board of Valor Christian High School.
A. My background is in the technology industry, with an emphasis over the last couple of years on learning and development. I currently help facilitate general learning as well as leadership growth, and I care deeply about education. My experiences leading teams in the tech startup world have been invaluable as we’ve formed the Board of Directors and labored to build this school.
Q. Who are the current Board members?
A. Aside from myself, Kiersten and Eric are Rick Howarth and Doug Pierce. Within this team there is a wealth of business, teaching and leadership experience—but most importantly, there is a fierce dedication to our vision and to seeing it through to reality.
Q. What is the mission of Valor Christian?
A. Our mission is to educate students in a Biblical worldview, to high academic standards, with good character, as preparation to live victorious lives as Christian adults.
Q. You will be opening for the 2023/2024 school year. Where is the school located? And how many students will you be accepting for the upcoming school year?
A. North Summit Church has graciously agreed to partner with Valor and host our school for one year to help get us off the ground. For our first year we are offering 20 spots in ninth grade and 20 spots in 10th grade, and we’ll add the remaining high school grades in the subsequent two years.
Q. What can students (and parents) expect when it comes to the education they’ll receive?
A. We think that at a minimum, school should provide the requisite academics to prepare students for adult life. So, we have chosen a curriculum that is accredited and time-tested so that parents can know that whether it’s college, trades or family life that awaits them as adults, they’ll be prepared academically.
But even beyond that, parents can expect that our education will be intentionally presented from a Biblical perspective and that the ideas and values that students learn at Valor will be ones that align with the Christian faith.
Q. For families who are trying to raise their children with Christian values and education, why is Valor the right choice?
A. If that is your goal as a parent, then you’ve found the right place; that’s why we exist! Kids absorb a tremendous amount of their future beliefs at school. Not only from the curriculum but also the teachers, the policies and the school culture. At Valor you’ll know exactly what your kids are going to experience in all of those areas, and we actually encourage our parents to be involved. We believe strongly that education is the responsibility of parents, and they rightly have the option to provide that via a school that aligns with the goals they have for their kids or to educate at home.
Q. Why is a Christian education a necessity for high schoolers in today’s world?
A. The way our kids end up viewing the world will determine how they will live their lives, and education is a key mechanism for shaping worldview. There are many competing worldviews out there that are vying for all our attention, but they cannot all be right or true when they all conflict with each other on key points. We believe that the Bible gives us the only true way to see ourselves, each other and the world and to understand what our purpose in life is.
Q. How does Valor provide a “biblical worldview” for our local youth?
A. Some of life’s biggest questions are: “What is the story that I’ve found myself in? Why am I here? Who are the other characters and where is all of this going?” This is what some call “meta-narrative”—the one story that connects all of the other stories, facts and ideas. God, through the Bible, has given us very clear answers to these questions, and these answers help us make sense of history, science, literature and even mathematics.
Our curriculum approaches each subject from a Biblical worldview and our teachers provide students with the tools to test and validate this worldview.
Q. What are some of the courses that will be taught?
A. We’re covering all the core subjects that the public school system offers with the addition of four years of Applied Bible and Theology and a handful of electives that we’ve chosen because of their potential impact on adult life. Our Bible classes are very robust and help students develop both a broad and deep understanding of the Bible and how to apply it throughout life. They will learn things like hermeneutics (how to read the Bible properly), apologetics (how to defend the faith), cultural analysis and engagement, and why other worldviews are not consistent or reliable.
Q. Will Valor Christian offer athletic opportunities for its students?
A. We are partnering with Kootenai Thunder for our first year and will offer boys basketball, girls basketball, girls volleyball and boys soccer. We plan to enter the Mountain Christian League with our own team (Go Royals!) during our second year.
Q. What help does Valor still need to be able to open its doors for the 2023-2024 school year? For those who would like to make a donation, how can they do so?
A. We are looking for volunteers to help out in a variety of ways, and we are also accepting donations for our school library and other key startup costs. If you are interested in partnering with us in our mission, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. What is your goal for graduating students as they enter the world? And what do you hope they take away from their experience at Valor?
A. As people, we are more than just stores of facts and information or skilled practitioners of tasks. We make countless decisions in our lives, some seemingly irrelevant and some quite impactful. In all of these decisions, we are using an internal compass, which in large part comes from our worldview. We are working very hard so that our graduating students have the right compass, know how to use it, have practiced using it and therefore know where (and why) they are going next. Our community, state, country and world need Christian parents, citizens, employees, business owners and leaders who have clear answers to life’s biggest questions and can faithfully build lives that reflect those answers. Standing for what is right, true and beautiful takes courage; it takes valor.
For families who would like more information about Valor Christian High School or to register their student to attend, visit ValorSandpoint.com.
Valor Christian High School
201 North Division Avenue
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864
217 Cedar Street #154
Sandpoint, ID 83864