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Ripon Christian: 98% of grads go to college
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RIPON - Promising that 98 percent of their grads will go on to college – 78 percent to four year schools – Ripon Christian High School is offering an open house Thursday night for interested parents and students to take a look at its curriculum.

The event takes place in the 650-seat performing arts center at 7 p.m. where parents, students and teachers will tell stories of their successes. Tours will follow.

In addition to academic training, Ripon Christian also offers their high schoolers opportunities and encouragement for significant spiritual growth. The stated mission is “to prepare Christian leaders who will joyfully live out their faith in God while humbly serving those around them.”

Director of Curriculum and Instruction Mary Ann Sybesma put it simply “Our graduates go to UC, CSU, four-year colleges, four-year Christian colleges and one of our seniors will be going to WestPoint.”

As for their majors, there are many going into the medical field as doctors, nurses, and into pharmacy as well as the science field in biology, physics, microbiology, chemistry, environmental chemistry and organic chemistry, she added.

Sybesma said it has not been uncommon for nearly 10 percent of the graduates in any one year to choose nursing as their career.

“One student is graduating from a four-year college (in June) with a chemistry degree and will be doing an internship this summer in an international laboratory in New York – and going onto graduate school,” she said.

She told of another relatively recent Ripon Christian grad who went on to UCLA and then on to Harvard for a law degree.

“Business is also a big (college) major – international business, accounting and CPAs. Many of our students go on to graduate school,” she said. Other grads from the Ripon school have gone into teaching and administration as well, she added.

Vice president of the Ripon Christian Board of Trustees, Bryan Groningen, quoted high school parents saying, “RC is the best kept secret around for preparation and acceptance to some of the top colleges and universities in the United States.”

He further stated, “Students at Ripon Christian receive a solid foundation to handle the outside pressures young people face today. With a rich standards-based curriculum infused with academic knowledge and a Christian world-view, Ripon Christian students are prepared to be successful future leaders.”

Dale De Weerd, elementary and middle school principal pointed out that his second through eighth grade students continually exceed the national averages on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Additionally, measures are taken to continue open communications between the different levels of schooling to maintain consistency throughout curricular areas, he said.

Superintendent Kerry Manus was quick to note that his teachers are all passionate about what they do, and that they view their profession as a calling, not just a job.

Specialties are offered to students throughout the grade levels including mock trial, debate, drama, choir, band, numerous sports activities in addition to Robotics and a variety of other clubs and act ivies, he said.

Ripon Christian Schools are located at 435 North Maple Avenue in Ripon. The phone is 209-599-2155.