March 6, 2015

College President Endorses Pacifica!

Dr. David Winter and David O’Neil hosting an event featuring Mr. Louis Zamperini in Santa Barbara, California.

Dearest Pacifica,

Recently, my dear friend Dr. David Winter spent a few days with the leadership team of Pacifica Christian High School-Orange County. Below are encouraging remarks regarding the work we are undertaking.

With great appreciation,

David K. O’Neil, Head of School

David K. O’Neil
Dear Friends,

I want you to know about a new Christian high school, and how enthusiastic I am about it.

I served as president of Westmont College for 25 years before I became headmaster of Providence Hall High School in Santa Barbara.  Christian schools, at any level, are extremely important.  But I have come to understand that the “four critical years” are no longer the college years.  High school students today must deal with the issues we faced in college some years ago.

The middle and high school years are tremendously influential in the development of personal and spiritual character. And to experience this as part of a comprehensive educational process is a great gift. Our young people need to learn about themselves, the world in which we live, the sciences, literature, history, all from a perspective of truth, goodness, beauty, and an acknowledgement of the presence of God.

A school like Pacifica prepares students for the reality of the contemporary American culture by evaluating and engaging it under the guidance of strong and attractive Christian faculty. As much as we may wish, it is not helpful to overly protect young people from that culture. We must engage it, challenge every aspect of it, from a strong and authentic Christian world view. It is during the high school years that this must be accomplished, in order to adequately prepare students for the personal and spiritual challenges of college, and adult life.

I know Pacifica rather well, for David O’Neil served with distinction as our Head of School at Providence Hall. He and his impressive team are preparing a truly outstanding school that will be rigorous, challenging, stimulating, rewarding and authentically Christian.

I predict a dramatic increase in high quality Christian schools in the next decade, for they can deliver a level of excellence that is noticeably different to that of a typical secular school. All truth is God’s truth and so our schools are free to truly search for truth in every class. God is an important part of life at a school like Pacifica, and this perspective leads to a joyful, healthy, community of faculty and students, sharing with each other the freedom and discovery which should accompany these important years in a student’s life.

The choice of a school is one of the most significant we make, for friends as well as teachers are so influential.  Students are not always aware of how important this experience and identification will be for the rest of their lives. Our society has changed, and we need schools today that truly understand personal and faith development, how young people grow up with the assistance of exceptional teachers, healthy friendships, and a curriculum that is free to include all of the truth.

I urge you to include Pacifica along with any others that can come close to the quality and comprehensive educational experience that Pacifica will provide. This investment can be a gift of a lifetime.

Most sincerely,

David K. Winter, Ph.D.

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