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 in 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 and church nursery.
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 the 1975-76 school year, and ACS witnessed its first graduating class.
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 provide a better learning environment for teachers and students.
The school has been blessed with several grants to allow a 1:1 technology ratio. Each classroom is equipped with an Aquos Board for student interaction and to encourage teaching with the use of technology. Teachers use Google Classroom to post assignments. The school offers a 24/7 school management program and an app for iOS and Android phones. The online program and the app are used to assist parents with access to purchase lunches, to re-enroll students, access grades, access homework, view the school calendar, etc.
Palm Springs Drive Baptist Church welcomed Pastor Scott Carlson as their new Pastor in 2004. As Pastor, he also became the President of Altamonte Christian School. Altamonte Christian School is a ministry of the Palm Springs Drive Baptist Church and is financially self-supporting through tuition and fees. Altamonte Christian School is led by an administrative team. The history of our administration began with Mrs. Johnette Barton and Dr. Sharon Nix serving as Administrators of Altamonte Christian School for 46 years and 31 years, respectively. Mr. Richard Smith served as Dean of Students and Athletic Director for 26 years. Mrs. Denille Brownlee filled the position of Director of School from 2017 to 2021. In 2017 Mrs. Dara Polino was added to the administrative team as Director of Operations; in 2018, Mrs. Julie Thomas as Guidance Counselor, and Mr. Jeff Reyes as Dean and Athletic Director. In 2018 Dr. Pamela Piorkowski became the Director of Academics and transitioned to Headmaster in 2021. In 2022 Pastor Mike Stancil was added to the team as Campus Pastor to encourage the spiritual emphasis of the student body.
Altamonte Christian School was gifted a new property located at 1021 Palm Springs Drive, Altamonte Springs, Florida, in August of 2021. The property was formerly St. Mark’s Christian School and filled the need for a VPK-5th Grade school. The campus included the addition of 12 classrooms, an auditorium, offices, and an activity building. The new campus opened in August of 2022 and allowed Altamonte Christian School to increase enrollment by an additional 100 students. Ms. Joan McManaway was given the title of Director of Elementary and the role of supervising the VPK through 5th grades on the new campus.
We are grateful to the Lord for His hand in blessing our school ministry and for the growth and ability to spread the love of Christ to more students and to be a part of the Altamonte Springs community. The legacy of Altamonte Christian School continues to increase as the Lord allows!