Excelsior Christian School

8th Grade Graduates

2nd Ch. Rf. School In The County

There will be a second Christian Reformed school in Grundy county beginning with this school year. A school building has been moved on the ground near the Christian Reformed church four miles east of Ackley and school will open there on August 28th. This church and the Christian Reformed Church are sponsoring the school. Rev. J. Menzelaar is pastor of the church east of Ackley. It will be a one-room school. It will have an enrollment of 15 pupils to start with. Miss Bertha VanderPoel has been engaged as teacher. It will be known as The Excelsior Christian School.

Officers of the school are: Jack Limburg, president; Frank Timmer, secretary; George Abbas, treasurer.

The first Christian Reformed school to open in Grundy county was the Timothy school west of Wellsburg. A new building was erected for this school several years ago and school has been operating there ever since. There are two teachers. This school had an enrollment last year of 51. Teachers employed for the Timothy school for next year are Elizabeth Eekhoff and Marlys Meints.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 3 August 1950, pg 15

An addition has been completed to the Excelsior Christian school in north German township. The addition is 24x42. It is being used as a classroom. Two teachers are now employed in this school for the first time.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 3 October 1957, pg 1

80 Enrolled At Excelsior School

At the close of the first week in the Excelsior Christian Reformed school, three miles east of Ackley, there was an enrollment of 80 pupils. This was an increase of 20 above last year's enrollment at the same period. The Excelsior Christian is a tuition-supported elementary school. It is a state accredited school.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 19 September 1963, pg 2

Excelsior School's 15th Anniversary

The Excelsior Christian School located 4 miles east of Ackley, held an open house and dedication ceremony Tuesday, Aug. 24, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the school.

Dedication ceremonies were postponed 15 years in waiting for the new building now in use. The school started out in 1950 in an old unused rural schoolhouse.

Excelsior Christian School was organized in 1944 but school did not open until 1950, when 10 pupils were enrolled. Since that time the enrollment has grown to 70 pupils and the school boasts 38 graduates from its eighth grade. Students in the school are largely from Grundy and Butler counties.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 9 September 1965, pg 9

Excelsior School Will Erect New Building

The Christian Reformed Excelsior school three miles east of Ackley is going to erect a new building measuring 40x80 feet. It will be a quonset building and will be used for recreation. It is expected to have the building completed by the time school starts this fall.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 16 June 1966, pg 9

Excelsior School Has Enrollment of 60

There is an enrollment of 60 in the Excelsior Christian school 3 miles east of Ackley in Grundy county. Teachers are Naomi Allspach, Parkersburg, teaching the lower grades; Mrs. Ralph Terpstra of Ackley, the intermediate grades; and George Tamminga of Aplington as principal and teacher of the upper grades.

The first full day of school was Tuesday, August 30. The school has recently been equipped with new desks and the gymnasium and all-purpose building should be completed in about two weeks.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 8 September 1966, pg 12

Christian School Merger Discussed At Meeting

George Tamminga, Principal of the Excelsior Christian School at Ackley spoke on a merger for the Excelsior and Timothy Christian schools. He pointed out the advantages and disadvantages of such a merger.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 1 February 1968, pg 9

Excelsior School Marks 31st Year

Ackley--The Excelsior Christian Grade school here has marked its 31st year of service as a private institution.

The school has 15 students and two teachers who are Celia Harken and Naomi Allspach of Parkersburg. Students from Ackley, Aplington, Austinville, and Parkersburg attend the school, backed a lot by the Christian Reformed Church of America.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 23 April 1981, pg 20

Christian Reformed Church-Supported School Closed Due To Lack of Students

Excelsior Christian School Ends 32 Years of Teaching

Friday of last week was the final day of school at the Excelsior Christian School east of Ackley, and south of Highway 20. After 32 years, the Christian Reformed Church-sponsored rural school is closing its doors because of a shortage of students being enrolled.

The school held Commencement Exercises last Friday evening for two sixth grade students at the Austinville Christian Reformed Church. The students were Stacy Neymeyer and Shawn Seehusen.

The closing of the school, which began on September 5, 1950, also marks the end of the teaching career of Miss Naomi Allspach, who has taught at the Excelsior school for the past 29 years. Miss Allspach and Mrs. Larry (Celia) Harken of Aplington, who has taught for the past two years, taught the 14 students enrolled during the 1981-82 school year.

Dennis Hippen of Aplington, head of the Excelsior School Board, noted that the lack of students is the only reason for the closing, pointing out that financially the school was able to maintain itself. Operating funds came in the form of tuitions and fund raising events. Hippen estimated the school's operating budget at $28,000, with tuition at approximately $700 per pupil per year.

Since the state-accredited school began, 16 teachers have taught 246 students. When the school opened, it had an enrollment of 10 students. The peak enrollment period was during the mid-1960s when as high as 85 students attended the school.

Christian Reformed Church congregations in Ackley, Aplington, Parkersburg and Iowa Falls were involved in organizing the school. Parents and pastors of the churches compose the membership of the Excelsior Christian School Society, which oversee the operation of the school. The school was open for children of all denominations to attend.

When the Excelsior School was first organized, classes met in a one-room country school house that was moved to the present site 5 miles east of Ackley, just south of Highway 20.

Expanding enrollment necessitated the addition of two rooms in 1962, with a gym added in 1966. Seventh and eighth grades were dropped about five years ago after the junior high teacher resigned. The school board decided the small number of students did not justify hiring another teacher.

The decision to close the school has been in the works for about five years, Hippen said. He points out that 35 to 40 students would be needed to continue operation of the school. He feels, too, that the rural setting has limited available students, and feel that the school would have been able to continnue longer in a more urban setting.

The Excelsior Christian School building has been rented to the congregation of the Faith Presbyterian Church of Ackley, beginning June 21. This congregation was a part of the former East Friesland Presbyterian Church congregation of rural Ackley who voted to leave the United Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. denomination. They have joined the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) denomination, and are in the process of turning over the East Friesland Church building to the UPCUSA membership of the church.

--Ackley World Journal (Ackley, Iowa), 27 May 1982