Through the Years: The History of Our School
In 1966, Pastor L. W. Carlson accepted the pastorate of Palm Springs Drive Baptist Church. He had a strong conviction of providing Biblical Christian education for the community. That same year, he founded Altamonte Christian School with just one single five-year-old kindergarten class. He was the first teacher at ACS and faithfully served as pastor and School Director until 2004.
Altamonte Christian School expanded to K4 through 3rd grade in 1971. At this time there was only one building on the property, the original church building with attached classrooms. Today that building houses our administrative offices, church nursery, and preschool classrooms.
The 1972-73 school year marked the beginning of a major expansion effort when the second building was erected which provided for the addition of 4th through 9th grades. This same school year welcomed our first full-time principal, Mr. Don Epps.
The following school year, our gymnasium was completed to provide physical education and an athletic program and the addition of 10th grade. This provided the separation of 7th through 10th grades into a traditional secondary school. Today the gymnasium contains eight classrooms, a high school science lab, a kitchen, boys’ and girls’ locker rooms, and a basketball court. In 1974, 11th grade was added and the church auditorium was completed. This building continues to accommodate elementary and secondary chapels as well as special events. Twelfth grade was added for 1975-76 school year and ACS witnessed its first graduating class.
Altamonte Christian School continued to see growth throughout the 1980s. In a time when classroom size was not prioritized, the student population was the largest it ever was. The first major renovation took place during the 1988-89 school year, and included adding a hardwood basketball court and improvements to the classrooms. As the campus ages, improvements have been made to better learning environment for teachers and students. A facilities fee was added in 2007 to help meet the need for improvements from year to year.
As technology made improvements in the 1990s and the 2000s, ACS has continued to improve technology in the classrooms. For much of the 2000s and the 2010s, we had a designated computer lab to meet the needs of all grade levels. In 2019, the former computer lab was transitioned into a second kindergarten class. Now technology needs are met with interactive Star Boards and mobile technology (laptops and tablets). Secondary classes now have access to research and Florida Virtual School courses. The future technology plan will include a new computer lab when ACS constructs their new building.
Altamonte Christian School is operated as a ministry of the Palm Springs Drive Baptist Church and is financially self-supporting through tuition and fees. The pastor of the church also serves as the Executive Director of the school. Pastor Scott Carlson has fulfilled these roles since responding to the call to leadership in 2004. Altamonte Christian School is lead by an administrative team. Mrs. Denille Brownlee filled the position of Director of School in 2017 and Mrs. Pam Piorkowski became the Director of Academics in 2018. Mrs. Julie Thomas serves as Guidance Counselor, Mr. Richard Smith serves as the Dean of Students, and Mrs. Dara Polino serves as the Director of Admissions and Operations.