Three private schools in Columbia County will enter the 2010-11 school year with fanfare and celebration.
Augusta Christian Schools has a new headmaster after more than two years of searching.
Augusta Preparatory Day School is celebrating 50 years of educating the area's youths with a variety of activities throughout the year, including the inaugural season of its junior varsity football team.
And Evans Christian Academy finally has a permanent home in the county, after several years of temporary locations.
"We are so excited about our new location," said Evans Christian Academy Director Freida Lachman. "We now have our own facility."
The school, which is open to students in sixth through 12th grades, was previously housed at In Focus Church in Evans before moving to Crossbridge Baptist Church in Richmond County. Students now will meet at the former Berea Baptist Church in what is the school's permanent home.
"We are officially back in Columbia County," Lachman said. "Our teachers will be in their own classrooms where they can decorate them the way they want."
An anonymous donation of desks, file cabinets, chairs and tables was accepted by the school earlier this month.
"It looks like a school now," said Lachman. "We have redesigned it to be more efficient for students and teachers and have a designated commons area."
Dr. David Piccolo takes over at Augusta Christian Schools.
Piccolo, who served in public schools in Florida and was the superintendent of the Brevard County school system, has one daughter in elementary school and another in middle school.
"Dr. Piccolo has wonderful credentials," said interim headmaster John Bartlett. "He has bachelor, master's and education doctorate degrees and has a fantastic career in education."
The search committee believes that after two searches and more than two years of looking for a new headmaster that they have found the "ideal candidate."
"We had lots of candidates, lots of folks who were interested, during both of our searches," said Bartlett. "But we were holding out for the ideal candidate and we think Dr. Piccolo is that person."
Speaking of ideal, the folks at Augusta Prep have worked hard to make their 50th anniversary year just that. From the inauguration of their first junior varsity football team to activities that will bring golfing great Larry Mize to the area, the school is excited about what lies ahead.
"It's a biggie, that's for sure," said Rosie Herrman, the director of admissions.
In September, Mize, a professional golfer and Augusta Prep alumnus, Class of 1976, will participate in the 14th Annual Augusta Prep Golf Classic at the Belle Meade Country Club in Thomson, and on Oct. 2 the school's first junior varsity middle and high school football games will take place at Blanchard Field on campus. Celebrations will continue throughout the year, with a grand gala in February and other events through September 2011.
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