Heritage Christian School began with a few dedicated families who met together in 1967 to explore the formation of a Christian school in Canton. They prayed and planned for a school where values taught in the classroom were consistent with godly values taught in the church and home. After researching different options, these parents were introduced to Mr. William Vimont of Christian Schools, Inc. of Seattle, who rallied support of churches.
In 1968, together with these families, Mr. Vimont founded our Heritage Christian School. Classes met in rented space in the Christian Tabernacle in Canton (now Faith Community Church), and Mr. Vimont served as headmaster over the first 62 students.
Over the next five years, Heritage more than tripled in size. With more than 200 students, the board expanded its athletic department, hired an athletic director and began an intramural sports program. After several years, they expanded to interscholastic athletics.
By the late seventies, the school needed a larger building to house the Pre-Kindergarten through 10th grades. As always, God knew the need and was already providing a plan: Canton City School District was consolidating their school system and were selling the beautiful landmark Lincoln High School building.
The Heritage staff fasted, prayed and requested donations for a $90,000 down payment. Fundraising began April 2, 1979 for a payment due May 15, 1979. Parents made extra tuition payments, teachers contributed sacrificially and businesses in the area contributed toward the goal. On the down payment deadline of May 15, the exact amount had been raised, with a dime left over.
In 1979, the 11th and 12th grades were added to complete the high school. In 1980, just 12 years after the fledgling school had begun, Heritage graduated its first seven students.
During the eighties, programs expanded to include even more fine arts, extracurricular opportunities and missions. In 1987, Heritage became fully chartered and accredited by the state of Ohio.
In the nineties, donations from area businesses provided two fully functional IBM-compatible computer labs for K-12. The entire building was equipped with high-speed Internet. Property renovations included new concrete staircases outside; state-of-the art plastic interlocking tile flooring in the gym, and new playground equipment for Meyer’s Park.
In 2000, the school embarked on an ambitious campaign to replace the 300 windows in our building, one of the very few former Canton City School buildings that has not been razed or renovated beyond recognition. “Windows 2000” combined the efforts of the Heritage staff, parents and alumni, community members, local businesses and the Lincoln Alumni Association. Thanks to this generosity, every window was replaced with a new window in a design that preserved the building’s historic style.
In 2006, Heritage welcomed our first Ohio EdChoice Scholarship students. School choice scholarships or “vouchers” have helped families who desire a Christian education become part of our school family.
In 2008, the secondary grades began “Christians in Action,” or CIA. The entire 6th through 12th grade student body was divided into mixed-grade teams led by teachers. Each team served once or twice a month during the school day at local churches and ministries.
In 2008-2009, we celebrated our 40th anniversary with a gala event filled with joyful celebration and memories.
In 2012, Heritage became a Comp TIA Certified facility after the renovation of the secondary computer lab. Twenty-one new computers in the secondary lab and twenty-five computers in the elementary lab brought technology to the forefront of Heritage’s education practices for 21st century learning.
In 2013, Heritage opened Northeast Ohio’s first Ben Carson Reading Room. The Reading Room was made possible through a generous donation by the Gill family. Students preschool through grade twelve have a quiet retreat in the building to continue to develop a love of reading.
In 2015, we were featured in a special edition in the Canton Repository for our decision to become a Classical School. The roll-out of this curriculum approach will begin in the lower elementary and gradually move upward through the grades. Our focus through classical is rooted in traditional classical practices but also heavily integrated with a multicultural focus. The three stages of classical Heritage is excited to embrace are The Grammar Stage (grades k-5), The Dialectic Stage (grades 6-8), and The Rhetoric Stage (grades 9-12).
We continually thank God for the transforming work He is doing in and through Heritage. We are entrusted by God to educate creative, lively and precious students, made in His image.
The Heritage legacy began as the Lord led a few faithful people into a vision and passion for Christian education. Several families worked tirelessly, planned carefully, and sacrificed wisely to make Heritage Christian School a reality.
As our school leaders continue to sound the Conqueror charge, backed by a school board of godly men and women, along with faithful parents, volunteers and teachers, we carry on the heritage of faith in God and His word upon which Heritage Christian School is built.
From God’s heart to the hands of willing believers through the years, Heritage has been built up with God’s blessing and provision. Its work and ministry continues to build, challenge and mature us. And we never forget His word from Romans 8:37, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”