In 1996, a group of faithful Orthodox Christians in the Boston area met informally about the possibility of starting an Orthodox school. After a committee was formed to investigate what interest existed, it was decided to begin at the preschool level before expanding into a full elementary school. The committee, with great effort and the ever-present aid of the Holy Spirit, proceeded to lease a site, hire qualified Orthodox teachers, recruit students, and secure the required state and local licensing.
In September 1997, Theophany School, a Pan-Orthodox Christian school, officially opened its doors with two classes, one for three-year olds and one for four-year olds. Seventeen children were enrolled for the 1997-1998 school year.
After its first year of operation, the School planned to add a kindergarten. Six students were enrolled, and it seemed that with just a few more students the kindergarten would be a reality. However, the School had difficulty attracting those students because of parents’ concern that Theophany would not be able to provide a full elementary school education for their children. In order to secure a child’s enrollment in an independent or parochial school in the Boston area it is generally the case that it is necessary to enroll the child at that institution at the earliest point possible, which in many schools means kindergarten or pre-kindergarten.
Thus, the School needed to revise its original plan. Theophany has spent more than a decade building confidence in the minds of parents and the larger community that the School is a thoughtful and reputable educational institution. It is for this reason that the School has remained focused at the preschool level, allowing time to develop a solid foundation on which to build its future.
Theophany’s revised plan of steady and thoughtful horizontal growth has paid off. Parents have consistently enrolled their children in the School, knowing that their children will receive a high-quality education in the love and warmth of an Orthodox Christian environment. Parents of alumni return to tell us what an excellent preschool education their children received, and how well-prepared their children have been for kindergarten, surpassing by far, children from other preschools.
From the outset, the dream of creating an Orthodox School also included the hope of bringing together individuals from the numerous Orthodox jurisdictions in the Boston area. Prior to Theophany School, inter-Orthodox cooperation in the Boston area had been limited. Theophany has helped to bring the combined time and talents of Orthodox Christians together in the common purpose of Orthodox Christian education and cooperation. Every effort has been made to reach out to the various jurisdictions in the area, chiefly, the Greek Archdiocese, the Antiochian Archdiocese, and the Orthodox Church in America (and its various ethnic dioceses, e.g., Albanian). The core supporters of the program, the teachers and Board of Directors, so far have been primarily from the Greek Archdiocese and Antiochian Archdiocese.