Maui school pursues Christian values
By Christie Wilson
Advertiser Neighbor Island Editor
By Christie Wilson
PA'IA, Maui — Doris Todd Memorial Christian School is Christian not just in name. Bible memorization and Christian values are a central focus at the Pa'ia school, which is celebrating its 50th year.
The ideals of hard work, doing your best and showing consideration and kindness toward others are instilled in students in everything from math and English classes to physical education and recess, said principal Carolyn Moore. And learning the Bible by heart provides students with a ready resource for later in life when faced with adversity and other challenges, she said.
Like many other independent schools, Doris Todd is experiencing a resurgence, particularly in the middle school grades. Moore said parents used to be more concerned about giving their children a good start at an early age, but emphasis has shifted to finding a safe learning place for the transitional pre-teen years, and some parents are shying away from public schools with large enrollments.
"There are more benefits to K-8 schools. There's more of a family atmosphere and you have the older children looking out for the younger ones," Moore said. Plus, at a smaller school, "teachers are focused on the same thing and have the same goals."
School secretary Leslie Bettendorf of Kihei, a former public school substitute teacher, moved her two daughters from a public school to Doris Todd.
"As the kids got older, I saw the lack of control in the classrooms and other behavior issues," she said.
Bettendorf said she prefers Doris Todd's Christian environment, which begets few disciplinary problems so that teachers spend more time teaching.
To relieve crowding, Doris Todd opened new classrooms in 2001 and is building seven more at a cost of $1.3 million. The work is expected to be done by June. A library and media center will come later.
The school will celebrate its 50th anniversary with events July 14-16.
Reach Christie Wilson at email@example.com.