Mike Runey, Head of School
Welcome! Thank you for visiting Portsmouth Christian Academy (PCA) online. As the new Head of School, I often am asked: “What makes PCA distinctive?” 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: PCA routinely meets or exceeds national Blue-Ribbon marks, and our graduates earn generous merit scholarships to outstanding universities 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, and very often they achieve it.
- Teaching and modeling Christian faith and worldview: In an era of increasing hopelessness, polarization, and loneliness, we at PCA teach that the Christian faith provides students, families, and communities the true hope for life, reconciliation, and connection. We humbly yet confidently teach Biblical truths and values and apply them to our lives, individually and collectively. We take seriously the dual command to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. At PCA we are interdenominational, independent, and Christian, and we affirm the essential roles of churches and parishes to enable families and communities to thrive.
- Tailoring each student’s education: PCA uses multiple assessment tools to gauge each child’s capacities and potentials, starting in the admissions process. When accepted, students continue 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 enable their children to succeed over their years at PCA.
- Cultivating community: We model community and teach our students to connect with others with love and truth. At PCA we strive to create a safe environment for all students and families where each is welcomed, protected, and nurtured. 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 purpose: PCA’s vision is to prepare our students 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 a wonderful yet fractured world and society. We point them to lives of leadership and service, helping them—in partnership with their parents—to discover and live out a greater calling that enables both individual and societal flourishing.
Combined, these five distinctives make PCA unique. At one level, the distinctives are aspirational. We strive to realize them each day, each quarter, each school year. At another level, they are reality. PCA has a long and strong record, nearly 40 years. As we have grown and adapted over the years, PCA has consistently aimed to integrate these five distinctives in all we do. How well have we done? Just ask one of our nearly thousand graduates, many of whom live in the area. How are we doing now? Ask some of the more than 700 parents and grandparents who send their children to PCA. The answers I get are strong and affirming.
As I come on board with the PCA team and families this summer, I look forward to continuing to lead PCA as it continues to grow and integrate these distinctives. I also look forward to the next 40 years, and what I believe God and the faculty and families are accomplishing at PCA, in our region, and around the world. You have my utmost commitment to this noble calling, and I look forward to working with you. Please continue to explore PCA on our website. More importantly, come visit us on campus—either for the first time, or as a returning friend of the school. We look forward to greeting you in person. Until then, may God bless you!
If you want to read my regular updates to the PCA community, go here: A Word from Mike Runey
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Mike Pomp at WTSN about PCA and Christian education in New Hampshire. Listen to the interview.
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.