The Veritas Story
E arly in 1996, four Newberg families met to begin the process of creating a classical and Christian school. They had read a great deal about the success of, and recent return to, this type of education that had been passed down through history from the ancient world to the early 1900’s in America. Since there were no classical Christian schools within three hundred miles, the choice was clear: Start one or move.
What followed that momentous decision were many months of public meetings; a trip to Logos School in Moscow, Idaho, where a classical Christian school had been successfully in place for many years; and long evenings of board discussions to create everything from a logo design and school name to policy manuals and uniforms.
As the board studied the curriculum necessary for the Trivium’s three phases (Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric), it became clear that a full-day school would be required to accomplish all it hoped to offer, such as Latin, grammar, formal logic, theology, the reading and analyzing of quality literature, public speaking, and memorizing facts in everything from math to history to science.
Veritas continued to expand a grade a year and by the 2001-2002 school year had over 180 K-10th-grade students in ten classes. That year, Bryan Lynch, whose original vision it had been to start Veritas, was able to leave his long-time position as AP European History teacher at Newberg High School and take the helm as Veritas’ Headmaster. Having outgrown Newberg Christian Church, Veritas was able to move to leased property behind the First Presbyterian Church off College Street. There, the school settled in six modular buildings with a total of 14 classrooms, a science/art lab, a music room, a library, and an office.
Throughout the school’s history, the Lord has brought gifted teachers to Veritas from around the country. The school has also been blessed by parents looking for a quality, Christian education for their children and, as a result, are willing to drive long distances – up to an hour-and-fifteen minutes one way – to partake of Veritas’ unique offerings. Only about 60% of the student body comes from Newberg, and more than 40 families have moved to the area specifically to be closer to the school. Several of those have been George Fox University (GFU) professors who had job options at several colleges and chose GFU so that their children could attend Veritas. In 2004, it became obvious that Veritas would soon need a larger, more permanent “home,” so the board raised the money necessary to purchase five acres of land and have plans drawn up for a future campus. The Lord graciously provided the means to pay for both the modulars and acreage, allowing the school to remain debt free.
Now with almost 20 years behind us, the Veritas student body has increased to ~220 with over 40 staff, both full- and part-time. Since 2005, Veritas has had 30 National Merit Scholarship honorees – more than all the other schools in the Portland Metro area combined – and our SAT scores are comparable with Oregon Episcopal School and Catlin Gabel – at about one-third the tuition. One-hundred percent of our more than 150 graduates who have applied have been accepted to – and 94% have attended – four-year universities, such as Hillsdale, Stanford, Cal Poly, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical, Baylor, Wheaton, the Naval Academy, and Purdue, though a large percentage of our seniors have chosen to attend smaller, Christian colleges – most with substantial scholarship offers.
One of the greatest compliments, however, Veritas has received came from the 2014 ACCS accreditation team. It stated that, “The Veritas School administration, staff, and faculty have, with purpose and single-mindedness, developed an education community that the visiting committee describes as a culture of grace.”
These statistics and accomplishments are not to boast about Veritas, but to give God all the glory for the many ways in which He has richly blessed this unique and highly successful school.
Education at Veritas School is intended to be inherently different in philosophy and content from that offered at other schools, public and private. Veritas School strives to operate as an extension of the family under the assumption that the education of young people is the responsibility of parents and the immediate family rather than the responsibility of the state. Veritas School provides a classical and Christ-centered curriculum and teaches all subjects as parts of an integrated whole with the scriptures at the center.
In 2007, Veritas applied for full-accreditation by the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS), at that time a 14-year-old organization of more than 200 members whose purpose was “to promote, establish, and equip schools committed to a classical approach to education in light of a Christian worldview.” After a rigorous two-day, on-site evaluation, the Veritas Board was informed that the school was only the fifteenth in the nation to receive the highest level of accreditation by ACCS. In their final report, the committee head wrote:
[Veritas’] goals clearly identify both the methodology of the Trivium and the goal of the ‘classical search’ for biblical wisdom and virtue. The school has exceptional stability as was visibly manifested in its long-term leadership, its very low staff attrition, and by the outstanding support from the community, including both the families within the school as well as the broader municipality. Additionally, the school is financially sound and has demonstrated fiscal responsibility…which now allows [Veritas] to be visionary in its building plans.
Veritas received its third accreditation review by the ACCS in the fall of 2014, and its Board then voted unanimously to give Veritas another five-year, full-accreditation status. As part of their summary review, the three-member committee stated that:
Through review of documentation, teacher and administration interviews, and classroom observations, it is evident that Veritas School provides thorough, consistent, and effective teacher training and development that result in strong staff unity, morale, mission focus, and classroom application of classical Christian methodology… Veritas School’s consistently high performance on various standardized examinations, including the PSAT/ACT/SAT, demonstrates a quality classical academic program and excellent classroom instruction.