Livingston-Tangipahoa community photo gallery for July 2, 2015 _lowres

Photo by Catherine Masters -- The new Courtney Christian School's staff includes, from left, Angela Courtney, middle school history teacher; Vicki Holstein, kindergarten teacher; Sue Courtney, principal; and Ruth Burton, middle school math teacher.

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Sue Courtney has been working in education since 1984. She has experience in both the public and private school system, and on Aug. 20, she will open the doors to the Courtney Christian School in Hammond.

Courtney explained that the school, which will have prekindergarten through eighth-grade classes, has been Courtney’s dream for a long time, but she finally made it a reality because she “knew God put it there, but I didn’t know how it was going to happen.”

“I believe that God wants these young people to be trained in his ways and to be educated according to his purpose,” she said. “We need to raise up community leaders that are going to use the word of God and Christian principles as the basis for all the decisions they make.”

Courtney’s experience makes teachers like Ruth Burton, who will teach several middle school subjects, feel confident in the school.

“With that (her experience) we’ll be able to combine the best of both worlds and give the child and the parent the best possible education with godly principles,” Burton said.

The school’s curriculum will emphasize Christian principles and four foundational character traits, Courtney said.

Kindergarten teacher Vicky Holstein said the character traits will be introduced in preschool classes.

“For example, self-government is being able to control yourself, knowing when it’s time to work and when its time to play. Liberty of conscious is when you do the right thing not just because the teacher is looking but because it’s the right thing. Dominion is taking care of your property and the property of others, and industry is doing your best work for yourself and others,” Holstein said.

Courtney wants all churches and denominations to feel welcome.

“My heart for our school is to bring together the community of churches we have represented in our area,” said Courtney. “It’s going to be a community Christian school, and what that means is it doesn’t matter what church these children come from because we are embracing all churches in our community.”

The school is intent on finding ways to give back to the community.

“In all the training we’re doing with our children, the ultimate goal is to have them become producers in society and not just consumers,” Courtney said. “The way to really walk that out is for these young people to become an integral part of their community. We’re not just going to be isolated; we’re going to be giving back to the community.”

Another integral part of the school’s curriculum will be a focus on the Christian heritage of America.

Middle school history teacher Angela Courtney said the middle school classes will have an emphasis on world history and American history.

“It culminates with a trip to our nation’s capitol,” Angela Courtney said. “Before they go, we teach them that there are references to God all over our nation’s Capitol, so when they go they can see it for themselves.”

Another focus of the school’s curriculum will be on teaching students to write and express themselves well.

“In today’s society, with all the fast communication happening, we are losing the ability to express ourselves,” Burton said. “One of the things we like to do is focus on writing ability and being able to express yourself not just to your classmates, but to professionally understand who your audience is.”

The school is at 121 Robin Hood Drive, Hammond. For information, call (985) 393-0227 or visit the school’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Courtney-Christian-School-CCS/146622 0967009752?fref=ts.

Editor's note: This story was corrected July 1 to clarify that the school isn't affiliated with the Mission Church in Hammond.