When Katya Engalichev was an 8th grader at Oyster River, she got a piece of advice from her language arts teacher that proved foundational for the young author: “write for yourself!” This, coupled with Mr. Stephen Foley’s charge this year to “never write to impress, write to express,” elicited a new seriousness in the way Katya approached her craft. She began writing poetry with “increased frequency and really exploring the intricacies and beauty of the genre.” Katya credits Mrs. Linda Rief, her teacher at Oyster River, and Mr. Foley, Upper School Dean of Men and English teacher at PCA, with keeping her focused on the real importance of writing. “[Previously] it was easy for me to get caught up in the post-writing stage of my work–the part when it was either graded, or I heard what someone thought of it…I would lose sight of the reason for my writing, which is the sense of fulfillment I get from simply putting words on a page.”
Katya has done more than simply put words on a page. Her most recent collection of poetry was awarded a prestigious Gold Key from the National Writing Project in New Hampshire. From over 400 entries this year, Katya’s mini-anthology “Surrealism, Legato, Surrender, October, Dedication” was one of 23 recognized as exceptional by a panel of writers, teachers and professionals in the literary field. Her poems will be published later this year in Middle/High School Voices, along with the works of other regional winners. This on the heels of last year’s successful submission of a poetry collection and a persuasive essay, for which Katya was recognized with two Silver Key awards. She will go on to attend the Middle/High School Voices conference this May and an awards ceremony at Plymouth State University.
I asked Katya to choose her favorite poems so we could discuss them. It occurred to me later that this was probably akin to asking a mother to choose between her children. She had a hard time choosing a favorite from among her work: “I can’t really look at them objectively. As soon as I decide I like one better than another, I change my mind!” So I asked Katya to tell me about my two favorites, Legato (which, translated from Italian, means “tied together”and is a musical notation that indicates a seamless transition between played notes) and October, another poem inspired in part by music.
In the mornings,
I play a song that
Some drifting thought
Wrote for you.
In the mornings, I slide
My finger up the string. I
Try to count the
Hours someone spent
Into cheap nylon.
Sometimes I remember that a
Machine did all that work,
That there’s no use for
Ordinary souls anymore,
Except in love, war,
I think that you would smile.
And shake your head,
I think you would tell me
Not to wallow in my
Endless contemplations, but to
Play. First string, second string,
Early light melting
Into breathless harmony,
Raw and unblemished, until
I can count on one hand the memories
That hurt. Until every one
Makes me laugh, until I’m warmed from
The inside out.
In the mornings,
I play a song.
Remember me? I was there when you
Shattered. I was there when the
Cold wind bit at your cheek
Cast you aside,
Left you for dead,
And you screamed-
Have you thought about me, since then?
I’ve spent a few thousand hours dwelling on
You and the way it must have felt
To fall into that trap of
Trusting the falsity in a summer smile
The way you thought your flying
Wouldn’t end. You forgot about
Your heart, didn’t you-
Are you afraid that I’ll remind you?
As if I’m stronger than the nightmares that
Plague you; don’t think I don’t know about those.
I know all about the hollow space inside you
From when you believed in your own
So strongly that it broke you-
Remember you? The one who used to
Gaze out windows, pondering life
Telling me all of your philosophical musings-
And then you’d laugh.
This was before you believed in the extremes;
Perfection and destruction. This was when
Everything was intertwined. You used to say
That there are only shadows on
The ground because of the light in the sky,
And the leaves fall like tears but form
A glorious carpet of fire, of love,
Upon the earth-
HH: Tell me, who are you addressing in Legato? Is this autobiographical in any way, or are you just writing poetry?
KE:Legato is an interesting one. Everyone who has ever read it or heard me read it at Coffeehouse has been especially curious about the story behind it. And the truth is that the story behind it is mostly fictitious! There’s a paradigm out there that poetry can’t be fiction, but it can. And anyway, all fiction is based on truth. I began writing it about two things-the feeling of missing someone, and guitar strings. The story sort of unfolded on its own. The speaker is me, I suppose, but the situation is not mine. So to answer your first question, I’m not really sure whom I am addressing! That’s what I really love about this poem in particular-that I created a mystery even for myself.
HH: What is October about?
KE:October is another one like Legato. It’s hard to explain how I write these, October especially. I wrote it to a classical piece by the same name. I feel like my subconscious kind of takes over sometimes when I’m writing poetry, the right words come into my mind at the right times, and I try to arrange them in a way that will effectively convey either a feeling, a message, a story, or at my best, all three. October is about the idea of change. It’s pounded into our minds these days that change is always a good thing, but I don’t agree. I wanted the story that I told in October to be angry, but also sad–angry because the person addressed as “you” made choices that led to a complete negative transformation without regard for the speaker or really for themselves, and sad because the speaker has, through this change, lost the person they used to know and love. And October is a changing season.
HH: It sounds like you also play an instrument-violin?
KE: I actually play the saxophone, but I do like the violin and it shows up often in my poetry, though I don’t know quite why! I like the grace that a violin has, the movement of the bow and the sound of it.
HH: Does your love for music play a part in, or somehow facilitate, your writing?
KE: Sometimes I just listen to a solo piano piece and write to the music, staying with the beat and not letting myself stop until the very end. That’s how I wrote Surrender and October.
HH: Can you give me some “behind the scenes” insights into your poetry-writing process?
KE: Behind the scenes…I think that the reason poetry works so well for me is just that I am acutely aware of everything going on around me at all times…I’m constantly studying, noting, and processing both obvious information as well more intuitive observations that I gather from the people and the world around me. I think my brain is on analysis overdrive, and I need an outlet for everything I’m thinking so intently about! And that outlet is poetry. My “writing process” is never one concrete procedure. I usually just have these spinning thoughts that I take and kind of sculpt until they’ve formed a poem. Other times I will hear a phrase that catches my attention, or have an interesting abstract idea and make a mental note to expand on it later in a poem.
HH: Do you find writing poetry cathartic?
KE: I definitely find poetry writing cathartic. I can’t express anything verbally the way I can in writing. Writing is just so much easier for me, so much more natural. So the most reflexive way for me to express any emotion is to write a poem, because I can take the feeling and make something tangible out of it, instead of keeping it unseen inside of me. And further into the concept of catharsis, I think that I’ve become so attuned to emotions because of how much time I spend working with them, so to speak, in my poems. Poetry isn’t necessarily about emotion, but a significant portion of mine begins with one.
HH: Who are some of your favorite poets/authors?
KE: My favorite poets are Mary Oliver, William Butler Yeats and Naomi Shihab Nye. My favorite authors are John Green, Jodi Picoult, Marcus Zusak, Ruta Sepetys, Sue Monk Kidd, Chris Cleave…well, and many others. I love to read.
HH: Back when I was in school, “write what you know” was common advice. What do you think about that?
KE: I think “write what you know” is a good place to start, for sure. But I also think it’s a bit limiting. If we all wrote strictly what we knew, then we’d have no books to read by Roald Dahl or Ray Bradbury or H.G. Wells. I think imagination is important. If you plan to actually publish a book or something, then you should have a thorough understanding of what you are writing about (if it does in fact exist) for the sake of valid information. But for a kid in school, I think letting go and just writing whatever comes to mind–be it real or imaginary, hypothetical, philosophical, whatever–will keep writing fun.
HH: Do you foresee a career in writing of some sort ?
KE: Definitely. I’m interested in being an editor for a fiction publishing company and doing my own writing simultaneously. I have lots of different interests though, so I’ll probably end up doing lots of different things. But I’ll always be writing. My two other passions…are riding horses and drawing. My family has a very small farm, and we have two horses, goats, chickens, and we often raise steers and pigs for meat.
HH: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
KE: There is a quote from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, when Dumbledore (one of my favorite fictional characters of all time) says, “I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind…At these times…I use the Pensieve. One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one’s mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one’s leisure.” Poetry is my Pensieve.
Written by Heather Hewitt, PCA Parent
Read more poetry and stories written by our talented PCA students in this year’s soon to be released edition of PCA’s Literary Magazine, SOAR.
Over Spring Break, the Upper School Missions Club went to Camp Good News in Charlestown, NH. Twelve students, along with their fearless leaders and teachers Jacki Morris, Andy Halbach, and John Bonneville, were off on an adventure. They spent two days at the camp doing work on the grounds and trails clearing brush to assist the camp in their preparations for the upcoming summer season. During their overnight and also had some recreational time playing games, climbing the ropes course, and doing team building elements Friday afternoon.
Ruth Brown and Gene Watson were two of the trip leaders who took a group of excited seventh grade students to Costa Rica this Spring. They had an amazing time and were able to share their thoughts and insights regarding their adventure.
Why do think a trip like this is a valuable experience for students at PCA?
“In Costa Rica, while immersed in a new culture, our students have the opportunity to grow and face challenges that are physical, spiritual, and social. The students who chose to go, work together on team building activities throughout the year in preparation for the trip. While on the trip itself, they learn about the “Tico” culture with regard to family life and participate in a cooking class, eating Costa Rican family-style meals in their homes.
Also, the students visit a school and interact with the students by visiting classrooms, learning provincial dances, and completing a mission project at the school. This year, the team painted a fence in the kindergarten area. Then we ended the day with playing futbol (soccer) with the Costa Rican students.
“They are exposed to so many animals. On this trip we saw howler monkeys, sloths (both 2 and 3 toed!), red dart frogs, caimans, crocodiles, birds in their natural habitats, and many more. All of this gives the students a better understanding of God’s marvelous creation.
In particular, seventh grade students are at an ideal age to embrace challenges with enthusiasm. They are stretching their wings and eager for adventure, while learning! Their curriculum is a perfect match for this trip. In social studies, they have been learning about ancient cultures; we meet with an indigenous culture of Costa Rica and see a pottery demonstration passed down through generations. In science, they have been studying geology and biodiversity. Costa Rica is one of the most geologically active and biologically diverse locations on Earth. Students also are encouraged to speak Spanish, as this is the primary language of Costa Rica. The most valuable blessing of this trip for students is to see the love of Jesus shine through as we travel and share within the Tico culture through service.”
How did you see the students grow and learn during their time in Costa Rica?
First, the students grew personally with each other. Many did not really know or hang out with other classmates. They are now are life-long friends. During nightly devotions and journal writing, most grew spiritually from personal reflection and Bible study. Comments were made about sharing God’s love not only in the Costa Rican culture, but when they return home to PCA and their families.
The students grew in confidence as they overcame fears through zip-lining, white water rafting, and exploring caves underground. What a joy to hear words of encouragement for each team member in these experiences! Students engaged in conversation with the Ticos we met along the way. In one home, we had a cooking lesson with a woman named, Donia Sonia. She could not speak English, and yet the students expressed their joy, questions, and appreciation for her generosity. While completing our mission project the students wholeheartedly worked together. This group always had questions about whatever we were doing or seeing. They tried every food, participated in every activity, and were “IN THE MOMENT” always!
Each one grew in confidence and in leadership. On one occasion, one of the girls spied a sloth on a fence, and yelled out, “I saw a sloth!” Our guide and bus driver patiently backed up to see if it was really true. You can imagine their surprise (and our joy!) when sure enough, just 5 feet away the sloth was making her way across the barbed wire fence! The boys particularly went the extra mile in acts of chivalry. The girls very much appreciated it, and it was noted in our last night of devotions by one of the girls.
Lastly, the students grew in their appreciation for the bigger world around them. They realized how blessed they truly are and appreciated the value of this trip.
This Spring, PCA seventh grader and cheerleader, Riley Marelli and her cheerleading squad from Massachusetts left for Florida to compete in the National High School Cheerleading Competition after coming in 2nd place in Boston for State Finalists. They stayed at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida for seven days until the competition. On the day of the competition, all of the girls were nerve-wracked, anxious, but also very EXCITED! They knew that they had to work to their full potential, and above all, honor God with their performance. With a lot of praying and their very best effort, the team came in 9th place out of 576 squads! The thrilled team returned full of excitement and joy.
Cheer and her life at PCA intertwine for Riley.
“Cheerleading has helped me at PCA because it has made me more of a leader in the school. I also feel more spirited about my school. PCA has also helped me so much in cheerleading. Because I am a Christian I have learned to trust. Even when I’m flying twenty feet in the air, I can trust God and my bases (cheerleading term: foundations of a human pyramid) that I will not fall. Another way is that it has helped me share about God with my team.”
After winning, the team celebrated all night long at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios. Riley, with her faith and perseverance, was able to come out in the top ten in the entire nation for cheer, and she says that she will never forget the feeling she got when she and her team found out what a great feat they had accomplished.
Seventh grade science students dissected frogs this week. They have been studying several human body systems and this lab was a great way to see how these same body systems are connected in another organism. Although some students were squeamish initially, most found it intriguing once they could see the amazing internal anatomy of the frog! As a teacher, during labs of this kind, I find that it is important to remind students that God has entrusted our world to us, and as such, it is vital that we treat everything in it with care during the learning process. The students did an excellent job and have a greater appreciation for life science and biology after participating in this lab.
written by Robyn Sanborn, 7th grade Science Teacher
In response to the many requests received, PCA is happy to share speeches given during the Patriotic Presentation in honor of Memorial Day.
From Dennis Runey, Head of School
As I prepared for this event, I realized that this would be the last time I would have the opportunity to speak to the entire student body. Accordingly, I chose to take this opportunity to share some thoughts on a subject that is very dear to me, patriotism. Ever since its inception, PCA has had as one of its purposes to promote “Allegiance to, respect and appreciation for our country and its symbol, the American flag.” We do this, primarily, by properly and prominently displaying the American and Christian flags in each classroom, by observing Veterans’ and Memorial Days, and by this annual Patriotic Presentation.
An understanding of our country’s history, its early struggles, the Christian influence of the original settlers, and the early, heated, and thoughtful debates over how the country should be governed are all critical, in our minds, to preparing our students to be good, contributing citizens. We agree with the author George Santayana who famously wrote that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
So, what is patriotism? Patriotism is defined in the dictionary as “a love for or devotion to one’s country.” It is an intensely personal emotion as each of us responds in different ways to situations or events that invoke this strong attachment to our culture, history, to the country of our birth.
Denis Johnson wrote in his book Tree of Smoke, about his feelings for the country: “At the sight of the flag he tasted tears in his throat. In the Stars and Stripes all the passions of his life coalesced to produce the ache with which he loved the United States of America – with which he loved the dirty, plain, honest faces of GIs in the photographs of World War Two, with which he loved the sheets of rain rippling across the green playing field toward the end of the school year, with which he cherished the sense-memories of the summers in his childhood, the many Kansas summers, running the bases, falling harmlessly onto the grass, his head beating with heat, the stunned streets of breezeless afternoons, the thick, palpable shade of colossal elms, the muttering of radios beyond the windowsills, the whirring of redwing blackbirds, the sadness of the grown-ups at their incomprehensible pursuits, the voices carrying over the yards in the dusks that fell later and later, the trains moving through town into the sky. His love for his country, his homeland, was a love for the United States of America in the summertime. ”
Or, as Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”
Listen also to the thoughts of the author Richard Maybury “To me, patriotism means dedication to the principles on which the country was founded and a willingness to stand firm and fight for these principles regardless of what the government says or does.”
Notice the common theme in these quotations: We are advised that our patriotism should be reserved for our country, and what it represents, not for the government which oversees it.
As Mark Twain once wrote, “My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.”
So, what does it mean to be patriotic? Does standing on the curb, waving a flag at the annual 4th of July parade make us patriots? I think not, though doing so is a good thing. Is it constantly pointing out shortfalls in our government without offering a solution? I don’t think so.
Just as saying that one is a Christian does not mean you are one. The proclamation must be followed by the manifestation of that faith, good works. Similarly, being patriotic entails a greater effort on our parts than just saying we love our country or putting a patriotic decal on your car or flying the flag on the 4th of July. It means doing something meaningful and with impact, not just saying something with no action. And it is this additional effort that we try to instill at PCA and that we encourage our students to embrace.
The discernment necessary to distinguish between our government and our country, as pointed out by the previously quoted authors, can only be obtained by a well-educated and informed public. As Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” In other words, you cannot be ignorant and free. He went on to say”. . . whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government……”
To be patriotic, then, is to obtain an excellent education, to include healthy doses of history so that there is a greater appreciation for the fundamental tenets or beliefs of our founders and the sacrifices of those who preceded us.
It is also incumbent upon each of us to be well-informed, to seek to know and understand the issues of the day, and to be able to discern fact from fiction. You must learn to think critically, and to be able to analyze and parse various issues so that you can arrive at an intellectually sound opinion. You must read and study source material that offers all points of view, and not just focus solely on sources that best represent your own. Be intellectually honest by weighing the merits of each issue and not relying upon emotion or political correctness to shape your decisions. Be brave enough to stand on principles, and not intimidated by others who may be in opposition to your point of view.
Once well-educated and informed then you must become active in the public forum by actively participating in the political process by casting informed votes at every level of government. This process should begin in your 18th year and continue for the rest of your life. It is by doing so that you demonstrate your patriotism, your love of country, by casting a vote that is the manifestation of that excellent education and careful research I spoke of earlier.
Other ways of expressing your patriotism are getting involved in community service or outreach programs that benefit the less fortunate among us or to contribute in some small way to making our country better. It is also critical that you participate in local and state political activities that will help shape future policies, laws, and regulations. Write your elected representatives when you are concerned, and hold them accountable for their votes and decisions. Remember, as Lincoln famously wrote, this a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, not the other way around.
Another way a citizen can demonstrate patriotism in deed rather than words is to serve in the country’s armed forces. If one truly loves ones country and what it stands for, then it follows that it is something worth preserving, even fighting for. As the classic country and western song says “If you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing at all.” Certainly that was the belief of the early patriots who took on the greatest power on earth and defeated it against all odds. That was the belief, too, of the over 40,000,000 men and women who have fought for our freedom throughout this country’s history. Today, less than 1% of our citizens serve in our armed forces. Only 1% carry the entire burden of defending our nation and what it stands for. It is an unusually heavy burden to place on such a small segment of our society. Perhaps some of you will someday decide to join their ranks.
The writing that has most influenced my own patriotic and life pursuits was written by Theodore Roosevelt and presented at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1911. It is called his “Arena” speech and he seeks to describe the difference between being a spectator and being an active participant in the democratic process. He writes “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Our goal when we formed this school was to offer a rigorous education, steeped in history, and focused on developing both critical thinking skills and the ability to speak and write convincingly. We also sought to provide a foundation of values, based on our faith, that would guide your decision making process. All this was put in place so that you would be prepared to participate in the arena, to be a problem solver, to be a change maker. That is my prayer for you on this day. That each of you would commit to participating fully in the democratic process by studying history, evaluating various issues and arguments, and, ultimately, participating in the ungainly, but non-violent, system for effecting change called the democratic process.
We have prepared you for the arena, we want you in the arena, “daring greatly!”
May God bless this school, our country, and each of you, and may God bless all those we remember with such a deep debt of gratitude on this Memorial Day.
Chloe Ebbrecht also gave a speech that she wrote for an essay competition called the Patriot’s Pen sponsored by the VFW for 6th-8th grade students. Chloe won her Post (Kennebunk/Wells, ME), then went on to win the Southern Maine district , and placed second in the state with her essay.
What Does Patriotism Mean to Me?
To truly understand what patriotism means to me, I do not look in the dictionary; I look inside my own heart. Patriotism lives there. It is in my own heart that I feel deep love for my country. Patriotism burned in the heart of George Washington, who led his troops on a bitterly cold Christmas night in 1776 across the Delaware River and executed a surprise attack on the British to set the colonies free. The love of country sustained Paul Revere, who rode to Lexington, risking his life to warn the townspeople about the British coming. A sacrificial love for his country propelled Nathan Hale, a soldier in the Continental Army, to lose his life to the British and speak these words before being hanged, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Patriotism means that our hearts overflow with pride for our country when we hear the words of Samuel Adams, “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”
Patriotism is still alive in our country; modern day patriots carry the same passion of the Founding Father in their hearts. Corporal Joshua Hargis was injured in a military operation in Afghanistan on October 6, 2013. While supposedly unconscious, a purple heart was being placed on his hospital blanket by his commander. He then slowly raised his hand to salute, fighting through hospital tubes and wires, reminding us all of the patriotic virtues that Teddy Roosevelt spoke of: courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood.
I also see patriotism in little things, like proudly saying the pledge of allegiance and praying for the leaders of our country that they will make wise decisions and move our country forward. However, I believe that the people who show the most patriotism of all are the men and women who faithfully serve in the military to defend our country. They risk their lives daily to help ensure that we are able to keep and enjoy all of the freedoms for which our Founding Fathers fought so bravely. True patriotism, the love for and devotion for my country, lives in my heart. I am blessed to live in a country where patriots still live by the motto, “Non Sibi Sed Patriae… Not for self, but for country.”
PCA senior, John Sipp, has been selected as a winner in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship program. He is one of only three students in the state of New Hampshire to be named a National Merit Scholar designee. The National Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 1.5 million students nationwide. National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college
John was further recognized this week by the Governor’s office when he was presented with a Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship for his leadership skills, academic achievement and commitment to community service.
John will be attending Boston College, as part of their Presidential Scholars Program, to study Chemistry and Theology. He is the son of John and Diane Sipp of Somersworth, NH.
PCA strives to provide competitive athletic teams that will represent Christ and our school with pride. This year was an amazing example of that. Our student athletes worked hard on and off the field and the way they play, with heart and strength, has been noticed by all. During the end of the year awards chapel the following students received special awards for their involvement in PCA Athletics for 3-seasons this past year and 2 students managed to play 4-seasons by doubling up on 2 different sports in one season!
Students were also recognized by the NHIAA and Granite State Conference.
The NHIAA recognized Justin LeDuc for being a Three Season Athlete for all 4 years of High School.
PCA Athletes votedAll Conference for the Granite State Conference:
Tennis – Tim Johnson
Track and Field – Peter Taylor
Baseball – Wesley Tobin and Ryan Lemire
Softball – Ashley Vining and Nicole Dudley
Granite State Conference “Player of the Year” award winners:
DOVER — Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover welcomes new Head of School. Dr. John Engstrom has officially taken the helm as the next Head of School for Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover (PCA). He comes to PCA after serving as Head of School for the Seoul Foreign School in Seoul, Korea.
“We are thrilled to join this vibrant group of people who are committed to the growth of Portsmouth Christian Academy and to the quest for academic excellence,” said Engstrom, who is excited to be joining the PCA community along with his wife Alice.
“Coming from Korea, we are deeply aware of the global nature of our task and are devoted to preparing our young people to serve God and others throughout the world. I am impressed by the high academic caliber of our students and the incredible sense of calling among our faculty and staff. I am thankful to God for this incredible opportunity to serve here in Dover.”
Engstrom has been committed to teaching throughout his career, completing several decades of classroom teaching before coming to PCA. He has been a leader in improving technology in the classroom to more actively engage students in their learning.
John Carpentier, chairman of the Board of Directors at PCA, stated, “We could not be more pleased that God has called John Engstrom to our school and that he has heard and responded to that calling. He possesses a wealth of experience, is wise and compassionate, has a great vision for PCA, and desires to take the school to new levels of greatness.”
Portsmouth Christian Academy is located in Dover on a 50-acre riverside campus. It is a regional school bringing together over 550 students from three states in grades preK-12. PCA has a dual accreditation by both New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).