On his recent visit to Texas, Bishop Basil of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America honored our school by leading the groundbreaking for a new classroom building. The Saint Constantine School opened its doors in the fall of 2016 to 115 students aged four through college. Two years later, enrollment at our Orthodox classical school is at almost 200 students, and we have outgrown our space!
The ceremony on November 6, 2018 included clergy from five Antiochian parishes in the Houston metropolitan area. Board members Fr. Joseph Huneycutt (St. Joseph), Fr. James Shadid (St. George), Fr. Symeon Kees (St. Paul) and Fr. Richard Petranek (retired, St. Paul), together with Board member (and past Board President) Dr. Melissa Kean, put on hard hats to help Sayidna Basil turn up some earth. Father Anthony Baba (St. Anthony) and Fr. Joseph Gereige (Forty Holy Martyrs of Sebaste) also lent their support, as Bishop Basil conducted the blessing for the Breaking of New Ground at a School.
As School President Dr. John Mark Reynolds said, “It is our goal to serve 500 students on this campus by 2022. Today we take our first step toward reaching that goal. With the purchase of this land, we commit to continuing to offer excellent Christ-centered classical education to the city of Houston. With the breaking of this ground, we dedicate ourselves to providing opportunities for mental and spiritual renewal to even greater numbers of students, to the benefit of their souls and to the glory of God.”
Standing on the spot that will hold ten new classrooms and parking by Fall 2019, attendees were able to see the existing school buildings, located on six acres of wooded fields, garden and natural playground. Joining the ceremony were members of the business community who assisted with the process to purchase the property and plan the new building: bankers, lawyers, real estate agents, architects and contractors.
All the guests were moved by the Lower School Choir, who sang rounds of “God So Loved the World.” The entire school participated in the singing of the Troparion to Saint Constantine, well-loved as our daily hymn from morning prayer.
The reception was generously sponsored by The French Corner (owned by St. George members George and Micheline Haddad) and First Citizens Bank, lender to the school. The event allowed Board members, donors, parents and business partners to meet each other and share their enthusiasm for the school’s mission: providing an education in pursuit of virtue, wisdom, and joy to all qualified students, regardless of ability to pay.
The faculty, students and parents of The Saint Constantine School are grateful to His Grace Bishop Basil and so many of the clergy of the East Texas Deanery for sharing in this historic day with us.