June 17 • 09:58 PM

A year of celebration

Imlay City Christian School plans special events to mark 65th year

September 06, 2017
IMLAY CITY — It's been 65 years since the Imlay City Christian School opened its doors. To celebrate this special milestone, the school hopes to spend the 2017-18 school year reconnecting with its alumni and recognizing their accomplishments in the last six and half decades.

"It's really neat to hear what our former students are doing and of course it's fun to reconnect with them," said Principal Karen Hibbler.

Staff plans to put up a world map and mark the locations where alumni are now located. Hibbler said they're interested to learn the careers their onetime students have chosen and hope they'll also share favorite memories of their time at ICCS.

Fifth grader Sam Schoenherr and fourth grader James Flannigan take their annual first day of school picture in front of the school's sign last month. photo by Jennifer Schoenherr.

"We would love to know how the school might be playing a role in what they're doing today," Hibbler said.

Alumni can share their latest information and memories through the school's website at or by emailing the school directly at

Using a trove of old photos, the school will utilize their Facebook page (@icchristianschool) for a 'Flashback Friday' series. Last week, the first entry featured a group of middle school students in the early 1950s, shown with their teacher Mr. Smit. The school hopes the public can help them identify everyone who's pictured and have fun reminiscing.

The school—home to grades PreK to eighth—opened its doors in 1952 on Imlay City Rd., just east of M-53, as a two-room schoolhouse. Since then, it's grown to six classrooms, along with offices, a gymnasium and an additional building that houses its music and latchkey programs.

"There are about 40 families that were committed to having a different choice for educating their children. They hoped and prayed that the school would mold students who would go out and make a difference in the world," Hibbler said of the school's founding.

She said it hasn't gone unnoticed that the school's 65th anniversary coincides with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

"Their purposes were similar. The Reformation was born out the desire to change the world and here, families wanted to make a positive change for their children that would have an impact for years to come. We believe Imlay City Christian School, speaking modestly, has made an impact on Imlay City and beyond."

Making an impact beyond their classroom walls has always been a hallmark of education at the school and that emphasis continues today. Middle school students in the Grow, Play, Serve (GPS) class will head up various fundraisers this fall for the Blessing Buckets campaign. The non-profit fills five gallon buckets with personal hygiene, food and cleaning items to victims of natural disasters. The GPS class's first project is 'Hats for Houston.' Students can pay a dollar to wear a hat to school and that money will be directed toward Blessing Buckets efforts in the hurricane-ravaged city.

When the first bells rang on August 23, the school community welcomed two new staff members—Stacy Ray, the new preschool and kindergarten teacher, and Abbey Berger, the 5th and 6th grade homeroom teacher.

For more information, contact the school at 724-5695.

Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she and her family reside in the Capac area where she enjoys gardening and reading.
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