The board of Chattanooga Christian School announced the appointment of Chad Dirkse to the position of president of CCS, the largest private school in the city.
Mr. Dirkse was selected because of his “passion for his faith, his understanding of the classroom, and his experience in education and business,” said Tim Reagan, chairman of the board.
He has served as the chief executive officer at Westminster Christian School in Elgin, Ill., for the past five years. In that role, he has overseen preschool through 12th grade education, plant operations, and fund development.
“Everyone we contacted in reference to Chad had authentic enthusiasm and respect for his person and work,” said Rodger Piersant, former chairman of the CCS board and a member of the search committee.
Mr. Dirkse is a 1989 graduate of Covenant College and received his MBA from Letourneau University in 2007. His desire is "to see every graduate of Chattanooga Christian School possess heart level characteristics that lead directly to action in service to God. They should know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, they should have the mind of Christ and they should understand the unique gifts they have been given by Christ and have been challenged to grow those gifts to glorify God.’ He has passions for academics, athletics, and the arts, and wants to see all the programs of CCS continue to flourish."
He will be joining the CCS community on July 1. He and his wife, Heather, are eager to return to Chattanooga, bringing their family of three children, it was stated.
Officials said, "They feel very much at home in the area and are eager to renew old friendships and make new ones. Chad is eager to contribute to both school and community interests."
The announcement comes after extensive search to implement a leadership succession plan to fill the role currently held by President Don Holwerda, who has led the school since 1981. During Mr. Holwerda’s tenure, the school has grown from a handful of students meeting in various churches and other facilities to a school of more than 1,000 students on a 40+ acre, fully developed campus with waiting lists in nearly every grade. The school serves as a model school for Christian schools across the country, it was stated.
Officials said, "Chad Dirkse and the board of CCS are pleased to have Mr. Holwerda remain as president emeritus of the school. In this role, he will continue to advance CCS to local and national Christian communities while also working to maintain community ties and securing continuity to the historic roots and mission of the school."