Mike Runey, Head of School
Welcome! Thank you for visiting Portsmouth Christian Academy (PCA) online. As the Head of School, I often am asked: “What makes PCA different?” Great question! Although families have many school options—both public and private—in the Seacoast region, PCA distinguishes itself in five ways by:
- Demonstrating academic excellence consistently: We maximize your child’s God-given potential. PCA routinely meets or exceeds national Blue-Ribbon marks, and our graduates earn generous merit scholarships that provide many of them otherwise out-of-reach collegiate opportunities. Our Lower and Upper School students collectively exceed state and national standards by wide margins. PCA prepares and leads all our students to pursue excellence, regardless of circumstance.
In response to COVID-19 this past spring, PCA entered distance learning and continued to provide quality education amid emergency. In preparation for the 20-21 school year, we implemented an Enhanced Hybrid Learning Approach, which will continue to allow us to deliver an exceptional education meeting the needs of each child. Our commitment to doing whatever it takes to deliver academic excellence amid difficult situations is something that makes PCA unique. (If you would like to learn more about enhanced hybrid learning at PCA, click here.)
- Teaching and modeling Christian faith and worldview: As our society becomes more divisive, we at PCA foster a Christian faith that provides your children the true hope for life and a moral foundation that builds unity and community. We humbly and confidently teach Biblical truths and values to help your child apply them to life. We point our school community to God, to seek Him with all heart, soul, and strength. We also challenge and help to love our neighbors: all people. We affirm the dignity of all people because they bear the image of God. At PCA we are interdenominational, independent, and Christian. We support churches and parishes as they enable families and communities to thrive.
- Tailoring each student’s education: PCA uses multiple assessment tools to gauge your child’s capacities and potentials, starting in the admissions process. When accepted, your child continues to be taught and re-assessed according to their potential each year through graduation. This differentiated*, potential-based approach enables PCA to partner with parents and enables their children to succeed over their years at PCA.
- Cultivating community: As we’re seeing in an era of social distancing, community is crucial. It has always been and will continue to be, a core part of who we are. We model community and teach your children to connect with others with love and truth, creating a safe environment for all students and families to be welcomed, protected, and nurtured. We are thankful for our diversity in many areas and foster respect and love for others of different cultures and backgrounds. We also expect our students and families to generously create space in community for new families, as well as to sacrificially serve our communities outside the school: our churches, neighborhoods, towns, and beyond. Community doesn’t just happen; PCA cultivates it.
- Providing true purpose: PCA’s vision is to prepare your children for life: a life of joy, realized potential, and service founded on Christian values and worldview. Our students finish each year better prepared to face the intellectual, spiritual, cultural, and physical challenges of our society. We point them to lives of leadership and service. Many rise to the challenge and impact the world for good.
Combined, these five distinctives make PCA unique. We strive to realize them every day, quarter, and school year. Over time, PCA has established a strong, consistent record of excellence. Our nearly thousand graduates are our strongest evidence of this consistent attainment of excellence. More importantly, we are ready for the future as we continue to integrate these five distinctives as we educate your children, our society’s future leaders.
The faculty and I look forward to continuing to lead PCA as it continues to grow and integrate these distinctives with families such as yours. Even in times of crisis, you have my strongest commitment to this noble calling and to the flourishing of your family and families like yours in our PCA community. Please continue to explore PCA on our website. More importantly, come visit us on campus—either in person or virtually, for the first time or as a returning friend of the school. We look forward to greeting you. Until then, may God bless you!
If you want to learn more about my educational background and professional experiences before PCA, click here for my bio.
*Differentiation at PCA means that we provide the appropriate challenge and/or support to help each student learn successfully. Beginning with the student application and continuing with regular assessments and observation, we look at each student’s learning style, strengths, and areas of need (for either challenge or support). Our objective is to create conversations with the many participants involved in a student’s educational path at PCA; conversations that are not limited by factors beyond the student’s control. These conversations drive action to support each student’s learning targets. Differentiation may come in the form of materials, access, assessment, final product, or interest levels, but the goal is always the same: to help each student experience the satisfaction that comes from reaching for his or her highest potential.