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Column

Coming to the Crossroads

Tiskilwa school could not sustain itself with its limited enrollment, yet we believe the school still had a positive impact on students

It was in 2010 when the Bureau County Republican covered our first story about a new high school coming to the county. While schools make changes all the time, the idea of a brand new high school in the area clearly caught our attention.

Throughout the years, it’s been our pleasure to cover the happenings at Crossroads High School in Tiskilwa. We’ve been intrigued as we learned about their programs, their courses, the way they conducted school business. Clearly they were different than the schools we were used to covering but never in a negative way. Actually, we applauded their differences.

We learned the students were being instructed in Latin — a course many schools across the country dropped from their curriculum many, many years ago.

We heard about the students’ accomplishments in drama and how students who might have never gotten up in front of an audience before, were now excelling in this course.

We applauded the school’s classical Christian education, which they offered to students from throughout Bureau County and beyond.

We covered fundraisers the schools orchestrated, and we saw the students give back to the community in a host of ways throughout these past seven years.

But perhaps what caught our attention most was what we witnessed when we visited the school.

We saw students who were engaged. Students who wanted to learn and who were excited about doing so.

We saw educators who were able and who had the time to give much one-on-one assistance and direction to these young people. Teachers who obviously enjoyed helping to guide the young people who filled the classrooms.

And perhaps what was most obvious, we saw smiles, a happy and wholesome atmosphere, where education and learning went hand-in-hand with life’s lessons.

It’s no secret we were saddened to hear of the school’s closing at the end of this school year. The last day of school for students is May 24. The final graduation ceremony for the school is set for 2 p.m. May 27.

Andrea Horst, Crossroads’ founder and principal, said the reason for the closure is because the school does not have enough students and resources to continue.

Thirty-five students was what Crossroads needed to be sustainable. Last year, the school enrolled 28 students; this year there were 20. Horst said they don’t see enrollment increasing significantly in the upcoming years.

Like Horst, we consider Crossroads to have been a success, despite its closure.

While we know teaching can be a thankless profession in many ways, we applaud those educators who were willing and enthusiastic about the task set before them — to teach young people in a manner that would cause those students to embrace the concept of lifelong learning. After speaking with students who have been enrolled at Crossroads, we believe they accomplished that goal.

And anytime students can become excited about learning — and Crossroads’ students were — success is inevitable, regardless of what direction their journeys in life may take them.

We would also like to encourage Andrea Horst and others who were instrumental in educating the young people at Crossroads to look for new ways to positively affect young lives in the educational field. Your commitment and ability to impact students should not be wasted.

Crossroads has made an impact on several area students, as well as the communities it served. We wish all students and educators the best in their future endeavors.

Bureau County Republican

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