stories from our community

We asked our community to share what they love about Shalom Christian Academy. If you haven't shared your story, it's not too late.  Check back for new stories - we will add more as they are submitted. 

Share your story here 

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Hollie Lewis 

We as a family LOVE Shalom because they are all about the kids that attend their school. My daughter is a little on the sensitive side when it comes to being away from me. The teachers and staff at school have made it so easy for her to be away from me. This year is definitely messed up and hard but the teachers and all made our whole family calm about sending our child to school. They answer any and all of our questions when we have them and are sure to keep their promise to make life a little easy and normal as possible. We LOVE Shalom 100% Thank you!!


Keith and Tressa Martin

We have been a part of Shalom since 1998! This is 22 years. We have 4 children. The youngest is a junior at Shalom. It has been a sacrifice, but a worthy one! Two of our four children have found their spouses at Shalom! This is really special.(Our third child found a great spouse as well, outside of Shalom).

My favorite aspect has always been Shalom's focus on Bible memory, especially during elementary years. Those verses become a part of you and become much more relevant as you grow older! We appreciate the work of the administration and teachers. We know that they have chosen this occupation, but we recognize that it's not always an easy task. And we say many many thanks! We appreciate your hard work!

Rosanna Book

We were led to Shalom because the school had an outstanding full-day PreK program. As working parents, we need such a program. Our initial plan was to enroll our son in public school for Kindergarten. Well, we fell in love with Shalom starting on Day 1! We felt a part of the Shalom family from the beginning. The faculty and staff were friendly, caring, and dedicated. The lines of communication were open, and we felt that we had a part to play in this community.

When it was time to register our eldest for Kindergarten, we opted to keep him at Shalom. Our plan was to take it year by year. Four years later, we are still a part of the Shalom family! Our eldest is now in 3rd grade, and our youngest is in Kindergarten. The rigorous, Christian education that our children receive is worth the tuition investment.

David Blubaugh

Something that really stuck out with my wife and I at Shalom this past year is that during parent/teacher conferences several of our daughter's teachers prayed for our family, which we were very blessed by.

Don & Cindy Magners
We have been part of the Shalom family since August of 2005. We were welcomed with open arms by Mrs. Petersheim after experiencing quite the opposite with another school. The faculty and staff at Shalom are exceptional. Every year has been a blessing to us. With Hannah graduating in May, it's hard to believe our time at Shalom is ending. Shalom will always have a special place in our hearts. We have made many lifelong friends at Shalom and our memories are priceless! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts SCA!
Lisa Cowan

When I was seeking a good school for Rochelle I asked Pastor Gene Strite's wife Karen where her children went to school and she said "Shalom". That was good enough for me and then discussed it with my husband and then we toured the school and met the staff. I am so grateful for Shalom and all the staff there. They are truly changing the lives of our children each and every day by being the best examples beside a wonderful education of God's principles.

Sarah Schmidt

We love our Shalom family. Shalom offers a strong moral wholesome community that continues to nurture the mind and spirit of our growing and developing children. I love the personal relationships I gain from the faculty at school and the sense of family we have. Shalom is a great place for my kids to be encouraged to have a relationship with God and be able to grow that relationship. There’s no other school that compares to what Shalom offers and gives my children!

Stephanie Mellott

The Shalom family has been wonderful. The teachers and staff truly care about and appreciate every student. They are understanding and do their very best to meet each child's individual needs. We chose Shalom for its Christian curriculum and small class sizes. We are so thankful and grateful to be part of the Shalom community.

Keila Trace
We came to Shalom this year for the "common sense approach". We love that the decisions made within the school are those made with purposeful intention and not political in nature. While our kids do miss their other friends and getting to "slack off" more in the evenings, we know that the academics will prepare them for an amazing future. We have felt a great sense of community here at Shalom and are excited to be here!
Ginger Rotz

This is our first year as a part of the Shalom family. From day one we felt welcomed in with open arms. The teachers and staff have been phenomenal. Our kids come home talking a mile a minute about all they did that day and all they learned. We know a lot goes in to making each day of in-person school possible and we are so thankful. What is evident to us from Shalom is that our kids' education is important, but more importantly is a relationship with Jesus. We have seen evidence of this time and time again. Thank you for all you do!

Alisha Fulford 

I love Shalom because my kids are treated like family there. I feel good about dropping them off every morning. Shalom's teachers go above and beyond for their students and truly care about them and their education.

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Jill Lehman

There are so many things that we love about Shalom! We love the community "family-feel" that Shalom offers. While SCA offers a diverse group of families, the overall sense of belonging has always stood out to us as unique and special. The spirit of camaraderie that Shalom offers certainly sets our school apart from other educational options. Whether walking the hallways, sitting at a sporting event or chaperoning a field trip, there is always someone (a teacher, administrator or other parent) around to offer encouragement, support, and a listening ear. What a blessing!

Since three of our four children have already graduated from Shalom and have gone on to pursue higher education, we also think it's important to note that our children have been exceptionally prepared for their next steps in the educational process. Shalom's teachers are doing a great job preparing students for their futures. Their willingness to devote time, effort and energy, ensuring their student's success is both noteworthy and appreciated. 

We are so grateful to Shalom, for their commitment to come along our sides, as parents, to reiterate and validate the Christ-centered values, beliefs, and principles that we are instilling within our home.

Faculty & Staff 

Jen Emge

We moved to Chambersburg in 2003 when our oldest daughter was three. As first-time parents, we were already thinking about where she would go to school. We set up a tour, and as soon as we walked in the door, my husband and I knew immediately that this is where we wanted our kids to go to school.

I remember leaving that day and praying that if it was God's will, our kids would attend here, and I would teach here someday. God answered all those prayers and has blessed us along the way with amazing teachers and relationships. I consider it a huge blessing to teach in an environment where God is the focus. The community at Shalom is incredible, and the teachers genuinely care about the students.

Patty Flood

The word that is often associated with Shalom is community. That's because it is evident in the actions of the teachers, parents, and students. You see the daily support with teachers encouraging each other. When there is a family struggling with something, the Shalom family is there to support them. Students show concern for each other. Shalom is very unique in the way it rallies around each other. The character of Christ is evident.

Angie Petersheim

Most mornings this year, I spend the 8:00 - 8:30 am time period in a specific area of the building. I rotate to different areas - high school, middle school, elementary. I started this practice with the intention of checking in with teachers. The added bonus has been that it also gives me a chance to see students and say, "Good morning." On occasion I am also at the main entrance or the elementary drop off. Here again I see students, and additionally, parents. This has been a definite benefit as I intentionally connect with students and faculty. Shalom is a community of great individuals and these morning greetings are a great way to begin the day!

Tawnya Priego 

As parents, we chose Shalom because of its commitment to the core values of Community, Servanthood, and Academics. We want our children to experience community in a safe and loving environment, for them to have opportunities to serve others, and for academics to be a high priority. Shalom's commitment to excellence in these areas made it an easy choice for our family. Shalom feels like home to us.

I was not teaching at Shalom when our twins began attending Shalom as Kindergarteners. My first experience was as a parent. I was impressed with the elementary department, specifically with the Kidwriting and Bible Memory programs. My positive experience as a parent led me to apply to teach at Shalom the following year. I love being part of the elementary faculty. It is a work family, not a workplace. I'm so thankful God led us here!

Tina Holderman

Shalom has been an important part of my educational and faith formation. I was a 4th grade student the first year that Shalom opened their doors in 1976. My parents were asked by the founders of the school to enrolled their four children. So after much prayer and financial sacrifice, we began a life-long relationship with Shalom. Each teacher took a personal interest in my life and development even after my graduation in 1985 because they were part of my faith community as well as my school community.

As a Shalom alum, teacher, and parent I have seen that it is the heart of the faith community that really makes Shalom stand out from other schools. Shalom is blessed to have a community of donors, parents, grandparents, administration, faculty, and staff who are called, dedicated, and passionate about Jesus and children that enables Shalom to make a difference in the lives of each student. "To God be the glory; great things He has done!"


Kim Burkholder

It has been such a delight and encouragement to serve in a Kindergarten classroom. My children enjoy Shalom! Earlier this year, as my daughter was getting ready to start school for the first time, my older son told her all the reasons why Shalom is amazing. His list of reasons included teachers, special days, gym class, recess, and more. His words touched my heart.

Jaime Keller 

I would like others to know that Shalom is not a perfect place, BUT it is full of people that genuinely love their work and they are very good at that work! You may hear "developing lives of consequence" thrown around a good bit, but our faculty and staff have an honest desire to do just that. We want to nurture each students' character, speak truth to them, educate them well, and then watch them go make a difference in the world.


Felipe Vacas

I was lucky enough to be the first exchange student ever at Shalom. I was received by a wonderful family who made me feel extremely welcome and loved, the Strites. I had one of the most wonderful years of my life, filled with so many great experiences at Shalom. I will never forget them: the graduation, the Senior banquet, the drama club, our missions trip to Trinidad, fundraising, sharing my culture on International Day, my wonderful and caring teachers, photography class, all those lunch times, great friendships... thanks SCA, for so much.

Karlee Gonzalez

I love the life long friendships made from attending Shalom. Even though I graduated in 2012, I am still in contact with many of my classmates. Just a few weeks ago we had a get together with the local classmates. It was great reconnecting and seeing each other’s growing families! Shalom has allowed us to continue building those friendships and allows our children to grow up with lifelong friends as well.

Sara Miles

I have fond memories of SCA. I learned to be a person of character. My parents worked hard to send me to a private school. It was well worth their hard work and sacrifice. I have many long lasting friends from my Shalom days. I like to walk down the hallways and reminisce of “the old days.” Life was easy then.

Now my children attend Shalom and it makes me so happy to see them loving school like I did. The teachers at Shalom love my kids so much and I’m so thankful for that. If you are a student at Shalom you are so incredibly blessed and I hope you thank your parents often for the opportunity.

Rachel Hockenberry

The staff and faculty helped me when I was sad or crying because I knew I could talk to them, which was very reassuring. So thank you to the teachers who were there for me and a special thanks to Mrs. Mull, Dr. flood, Mrs. Showalter, and Ms. Thomas

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Kaitlynn Schill (Toporzycki)

I started at Shalom when I was in 6th grade.I didn't know what to expect going into it. I was worried I wouldn't make any friends and I'd miss my friends going to another school. I was welcomed with open arms & immediately felt comfortable.

My first day of 7th grade I met my best friend. It's been almost 4 years since I graduated. And we are still really good friends! The teachers are so focused on helping you become the best person you could be! They treated you like family and also wanted to help in any way they could.

I was taught that God always has a plan. It might not seem like it right away but there is a reason for everything. I started out in middle school wanting to be a nurse. I kept that passion and drive the whole way to my junior year. With the support of my teachers, I became a Certified Nursing Assistant. And then worked full time my senior year with work release as a CNA. After graduation, I worked as a CNA at the hospital for 2 years. And then decided to change career paths and I became a Realtor with Keller Williams Keystone Realty. I wanted a career that I could focus on God first, Family Second & Career third.

As I begin to think about the future for my son, who will be two years old in August, I look forward to giving him the same education that I received! And upgrading from a Shalom Alumni to a Shalom Parent.

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If you haven't shared your story, it's not too late. Share your story here.