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Redeemer Christian High School is an independent, grades 9 through 12 Protestant high school serving students from Ottawa and the surrounding area. Visitors are always welcome. Call us to make an appointment to tour the school, meet our Principal or observe classes.
Redeemer Christian High School
Redeemer students go the "Ugandan Mile" to raise $25, 600 for boys home
A small group of Ottawa students mobilized a huge amount of resources to make an enormous difference this month for a Ugandan boys' home half a world away. Just 80 students at Redeemer Christian High School raised $25,600 from friends, grandparents and businesses -- and from digging into their own pockets -- to support the Kwagala Ministries home, which has taken a dozen kids off the street in Jinja, Uganda.
The Redeemer student council dubbed it the Ugandan Mile, designed to have the students walk a metaphorical mile in the shoes of their brothers over in Africa in a 30-hour overnight weekend event at the school. They ate African bean stew and rice to get a sense of what the former street boys often eat.
"They're just kids like us, and they deserve education, safety and a home, and as Christians it's important that we help others," student council Co-President Mikaela Hummel said close to midnight on Friday night shortly before the school Skyped with the lads in Uganda.
Kwagala was founded by Redeemer Alumnus Robbie Palmer of Kanata and Congolese youth pastor Raoul Mugosa. Inspired by New York Times bestseller Kisses from Katie, Robbie went over to Uganda in 2012 on his earnings from working in the kitchen at the Canadian Forces' Connaught training range to see how he could help alleviate some of the troubles there. He linked up with Raoul, who had developed a relationship with a number of homeless kids and they rented a home and started Kwagala, operating on a shoestring and a prayer.
The money raised by the Redeemer community each year provides the majority of the funding needed to keep the home running, and the amount exceeded the target of $21, 500.
The funds help pay for the rent and food and education of the boys, who are trying to catch up on lost years of schooling. In the courtyard of their home, they performed an African dance in formation by Skype for the Redeemer students and teachers.
"That was the most amazing dance we've ever seen," teacher Dave Vance told Robbie and the dancers afterwards.
Part of the success in raising the money they did was the personal connection that has been developed in the past few years. The boys in Jinja regularly Skype with a homeroom in Redeemer, whose students get to know the name and personalities of one or two of their African brothers.
The Redeemer student council puts hefty work into making the Ugandan Mile a highlight of the year, organizing games, a coffee-house talent show, movies and even clean-up of the school rooms, making the kids work for their breakfast.
Accepting Applications for Enrollment
Are you a Christian parent trying to teach your children that God is the centre of everything? Are you trying to faithfully expose your children to things that will draw them to Jesus Christ and an eternal relationship with Him? Consider Redeemer Christian High School—a grades 9 through 12 school whose mission is to challenge students to develop disciplined minds, hearts and bodies according to the full measure of Jesus Christ.
"Being able to bring questions to school about the nature of justice, of good and evil, about life's purpose and meaning, forgiveness and redemption, and of hope and integrity, goes to the heart of what learning is all about. Important too, is having a community around our daughter who shares similar questions. Understanding the centrality of a God who cares about human beings and the world is integral to advancing the well-being of the next generation." B & T Clemenger, parents
Redeemer is now accepting applications for September 2016 enrollment. Please email our Director of Communications and Admissions for more information, or if you would like a school tour.
40 years of God's faithfulness: Changes from the staff's perspective
Anniversaries give us occasion to reflect—reflect on our early days and where we are today. At Redeemer Christian High School, we are celebrating 40 years of God’s faithfulness on April 2, 2016 at our annual dinner auction. Established in 1975-1976, our school began as The Community for Christian Learning. We had 11 students.
According to an original staff member, Alta MacFie, “we were a small tight-knit group when the school began. At the school meeting, decisions were made together as a community of students and teachers.” She goes on to say, “that teachers felt uncomfortable being called Mr./Mrs./Ms. and the close relationship we had with students merited a first name basis.” Former Board member Margaret VanDyk, remembers those days well. She recalls that we didn’t have a principal, but a head teacher, students were permitted to use first names, and staff were paid according to need.
By the time, long-time staff member, Vincent Marquis arrived on the scene in August of 1980, things began to change. “The year I began, we shifted from a non-accredited, non-inspected (Ministry of Education) school to an inspected, accredited school.” There was much work to revise and revamp the curriculum, teachers needed to have a Bachelor of Education and eventually Ontario Teaching Certificates. “By revamping the curriculum, I don’t mean we gave up our Christian worldview, but the courses had to be designed according to Ministry of Education guidelines.” In Mr. Marquis’ first year, there were four full-time staff and 29 students.
Another significant change, was to adopt a regular pay-scale and introduce a benefit plan. “This was absolutely necessary to attract qualified teaching staff,” says Marquis. “Professional development and ongoing training became a settled expectation and standard.”
Throughout the years, our school moved locations five times. MacFie remembers how informally our school was housed at All Saints Lutheran Church with “dividers between classrooms” and the small church school rooms at Westboro Baptist Church. “We finally got our own building in 1997, and it was absolutely amazing for us,” declares Marquis. We had approximately 100 students when we moved to Colonnade.
According to Marquis, “the school’s early years were very different from the well-established, professional institution RCHS has become.” Today, Redeemer has a vibrant student body of about 150 students and 23 full and part-time staff. And thanks to a capital campaign in 2013, our facility includes dedicated science rooms, a music and drama studio, and a state-of-the-art gymnasium.
Three months ago, Redeemer was inspected by the Ontario Ministry of Education. According to principal Paul Oueis, “the assigned inspector was unrestrained in her praise of the quality of teaching and learning at Redeemer using such terms as extraordinary and phenomenal.”
Some things haven’t changed for Redeemer. For MacFie, “the same caring for the wellbeing of the students has remained as has the Christ-centred teaching and the critical analysis of world views at play in topics under discussion.” Marquis acknowledges the dedication of the community to keep the school alive and thriving, through thick and thin. “I feel blessed to have had the privilege of working with some great Christian colleagues in a special ministry to the precious kids the parents send to the school,” he says.
"God’s faithfulness is a constant," says Marquis. “It’s not always easy to see when you are going through the tough stuff, but looking back, you see it has been there, both personally and with the school.”
Staff photo circa 1980
From left to right: Bob Moore, Derek Maggs (principal), Alta Sickle (MacFie), and Vincent Marquis
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